Tulsa-based Williams Companies isn’t saying much about it. But the company has just bought a 107-acre farm in Pennsylvania that served as the base of operations for opponents to the company’s Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.
The Amish farm is near the town of Conestoga in Lancaster County and was a protest encampment against the $3 billion expansion of the Transco system. Some of the protesters who joined Lancaster Against Pipelines were some of those who took part in the large protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline last year in South Dakota.
Transco involves more than 10,000 miles of pipeline moving natural gas from utilities to companies and operators.
Williams confirmed it reached a deal with the owner of the farm but did not reveal a price. It plans to use the farm site to drill under the Conestoga River.
When the Atlantic Sunrise project was announced,Williams indicated it hoped to have it operational by mid-2018. The line is being built through 10 central Pennsylvania counties and will carry natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania and as far south as Alabama to markets along the eastern seaboard. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved it in February.
But the project was met immediately with opposition and most of it was in Lancaster County. Opponents started building encampments last fall and pledged to take part in civil disobedience to block the project.