Construction Process | Pipeline & Storage | National Fuel Gas Company

Construction Process

Construction Process

National Fuel employs a wide range of modern technologies and engineering practices to design and operate interstate pipelines and facilities in a manner that complies with stringent regulatory safety, air emissions, noise and other environmental and applicable regulatory considerations.

We are committed to working with landowners along the proposed pipeline route, and as part of the environmental review process, we complete environmental, civil and archaeological surveys in advance of construction.

pipeline icon


Cross-functional pipeline project teams meet regularly and work collaboratively to plan for the pipeline project throughout its course. Our project team representatives include executives, engineers, land agents, environmental consultants, and legal and public affairs representatives.

gears with arrow icon


Pipelines and related infrastructure are designed, constructed and inspected in accordance with applicable engineering standards and regulatory requirements.

pipeline icon


Pipeline coating and cathodic protection are applied to prevent the corrosion of the steel pipe.

Testing and Integrity Management

During initial installation, pipelines are inspected in a variety of ways, including:

  • Visual inspections of the pipe
  • Inspection of the bedding used to support the pipe
  • Nondestructive testing techniques, such as radiographic inspections (X-rays of welds)
  • Electronic and visual evaluation of the coating
  • Backfilling, to guard against large rocks or objects that could damage the pipe
  • Pressure testing (most commonly using water, which is known as hydrotesting)

All of this is conducted prior to putting a pipeline into service.

After installation, pipelines are continually monitored for safety, reliability and mechanical integrity using a variety of inspection techniques. Typical processes designed to identify leaks, dents, coating loss or corrosion issues include:

  • Taking readings of electrical protection facilities
  • Utilizing a “smart pig” that travels through the pipeline and collects data regarding the pipe condition
  • Direct assessment of the line by exposing and examining
  • Pressure monitoring
  • Routine aerial and foot patrolling


Right-of-way is restored to original or better condition.

Pipeline Construction

When selecting the pipeline route, National Fuel will make every reasonable effort to:

  • Minimize impact to landowners
  • Maximize use of existing pipeline corridors
  • Identify engineering, technical and constructability issues
  • Minimize disturbance to land
  • Preserve natural resources
  • Preserve cultural and archeological resources

The survey process includes:

  • Minimal disturbance by shovel testing, if necessary (for archaeological surveys), with test holes repaired upon completion of testing
  • Company representatives, carrying photo ID at all times
  • Respect of privacy—we will not ask to enter your home for any reason
  • Communication with landowners


Before construction, the landowner and pipeline company will engage in negotiations to reach an agreement related to the terms of the company’s acquisition of the necessary right-of-way for construction, called an easement. Proposed pipeline and facility easements will be acquired through negotiation based on comparable property sales and/or current market value.

Construction can only begin after the pipeline receives necessary approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Landowners are appropriately compensated for economic loss/use (crop and timber damage) caused by construction.

After construction, the restoration process begins as soon as the trench is backfilled and weather permits. National Fuel restores the areas affected by construction to original or better condition, allowing the continued use of the land for agricultural and recreational purposes. We provide continued maintenance, inspection and testing. Signage marks the land to notify people that a pipeline is buried underground.

See the commitments to responsible pipeline construction.
Hand with money icon

No Measurable Property Value Impacts

Recently completed studies demonstrate that there is no measurable impact on the sale price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline, versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.* Likewise, these studies conclude that neither the size nor the age of a natural gas pipeline affects a property’s sale price. There is no impact on demand for properties located along natural gas pipeline easements, nor is development in areas with natural gas pipelines hindered.

*The presence of a natural gas pipeline does not affect the value of the surrounding property. Integra Realty Resources, a leading provider of real estate valuation and counseling services, conducted a rigorous study of properties in four separate areas of the country in 2015. The report, “Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability,” prepared on behalf of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation, shows that the presence of pipelines does not affect the value of a property, its insurability, its desirability or the ability to obtain a mortgage.

Environmental Stewardship

Compared with other primary energy sources, natural gas emits significantly fewer pollutants. According to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), natural gas emits 52–56 percent less greenhouse gas than coal for the same amount of electricity generation; and since the start of the 2008 drilling boom, total CO2 emissions nationwide have fallen by nearly 15 percent due to clean-burning and abundant natural gas.

At National Fuel, environmental health and safety are top priorities. National Fuel complies with permitting agencies and regulators and is held to high environmental standards during pipeline construction and operation.

See the INGAA Methane Emissions Commitments.
landscape icon

Vegetation and Wildlife

As part of the FERC environmental review process, National Fuel minimizes impacts to wildlife and addresses concerns related to state and federally protected rare, threatened and endangered species and migratory birds. National Fuel, when possible, enhances the habitats to serve wetland and upland wildlife.

Retaining indigenous native vegetation is important to National Fuel. National Fuel’s standard construction and operation practices support pollinator insect health. National Fuel does not spray herbicides or other chemicals along its pipeline rights-of-way. In addition, National Fuel seeds and restores the vegetation on the rights-of-way after installation of the pipelines, ensuring that rights-of-way are fully vegetated.

Aesthetic Treatment

National Fuel designs sites with aesthetic treatments to fit with the character of the community.

In addition, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) is committed to leading an industry that builds and maintains strong positive relationships with landowners. Each INGAA member company, including National Fuel, embraces the following commitments:

  • Respect and trust
  • Inspection of the bedding used to support the pipe
  • Negotiation in good faith
  • Respect of the regulatory compact
  • Responding to issues ​
  • Outreach ​
  • Industry ambassadors ​
  • Ongoing commitment to training
NY Home NY Business
PA Home PA Business