New England Retailers Wicked Mad About Pipeline

The railroad town of Selkirk, New York, marks the terminus of the propane pipeline. (image: David Laleme via

The latest update on the Teppco propane pipeline in upstate New York?

The propane still isn’t flowing to the last terminal at the town of Selkirk. Current estimates have the supply point open by the end of the week, pending regulatory approval and water removal from the pipe. But the long-delayed return of this crucial Northeastern artery has left local dealers angry. And some will be looking for alternatives next heating season, says the petroleum news site, OpisNet.

We’ve been over the story before. In short, the pipeline sprang a leak in August, shutting down three upstate supply points along 165 miles of pipe. It was expected to make its return in time for the heating season, but delays have pushed the timetable back by months. And local retailers have put in longer drives and longer waits to get the supply.

A pair of anonymous dealers voiced their frustration about that to OpisNet, saying they’ll consider other options for getting supply, including rail shipments or the marine terminal at Rhode Island. Earlier this heating season, some dealers also raised the possibility of driving to farther hook-ups, in Pennsylvania or Ohio. Though a third doubted anyone would follow through once the pipeline was back online, with the cheapest LPG in town.

Propane customers will also welcome the news that the pipeline is back, bringing some stability to the local supply. Retail prices in the Northeast have been mountaineering this winter, up 58 cents a gallon on average, according to federal data.

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