Work set to begin on natural gas pipeline from Angelina Co. to Panola Co.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A new natural gas pipeline will soon be added to East Texas.

The Panola Pipeline Company system will be expanding through five East Texas counties, and preparations are already underway for construction.

Truckloads of pipe are stored in Lufkin. Soon the 10-inch pipe will be laid end to end across sixty miles of East Texas. A Panola Pipeline supervisor is mapping the way.

"We start Angelina, across the river. Come up through Nacogdoches pretty much on the west side," said Bruce Taylor, a supervisor for Panola Pipeline. "We cross over again up a little further north and then we go into Shelby County through Rusk, a little bit of Rusk, on up to Panola."

Eventually the new line will connect with existing pipelines for continued transport to the Houston area. Pumps and other related equipment will increase capacity of natural gas by 50,000 barrels per day.

Most of this pipe will be laid next to an existing line that has been in East Texas since 1982.

"We're adding additional capacity to run everything down to Houston," Taylor said.

The company is finalizing government contracts to haul the pipe across county roads. Nacogdoches County is offering the same contract it presented during the much more controversial Keystone Pipeline Project.

"They have the opportunity to review it and discuss any damages, if there are any damages," said Doyle Williams, Nacogdoches County's road administrator. "And we'll video ahead of time, access the roads and give both parties the opportunity to do that."

"You'll see trucks getting off the road," Taylor said. "Occasionally getting onto the pipeline right of way, which we have access to. And then on some of the state roads we may have, you may see traffic control."

The company is currently staking right of way. Construction is expected to begin after Labor Day and continue until December.

Panola Pipeline isn't expecting the controversy that Keystone received.

Taylor said confusion can occur. He said the anxiety generally goes away once it's understood no crude oil or oil extracts are involved. The smaller pipe will transport nothing but liquid natural gas.

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