Williams Energy part of new economy of Fayette County
By Karl Polacek
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
The building sits on Enterprise Drive in Connellsville Township. While it may not look like it from the outside, the structure could mark the beginning of a new economy for Fayette County and Southwestern Pennsylvania.
It is the local headquarters for Williams Energy, a company that operates and services compressor stations that process natural gas for distribution over pipelines built and operated by Williams.
According to Daniel Haefelin, manager of operations for the company, 75 people are employed at the building, most of them local.
“These are well-paying jobs,” said Haefelin, who is a native of the German-speaking region of Switzerland and who lives in Washington Township, Fayette County. “These people are also all well educated.”
On Tuesday, Congressman Bill Shuster, who represents the 9th Congressional District, which includes Connellsville, was given a tour of the building before heading out to tour one of the company's nearby compressor stations in the region. During the tour of the building, Shuster was briefed on the regulatory problems faced by Williams.
Williams received a request from Shuster's office to tour the new Connellsville operating center since he was unable to attend the ribbon cutting several months ago.
Haefelin told Shuster that delays caused by regulatory bodies could make the Marcellus shale natural gas unprofitable because the gas from this area is “dry” and does not contain byproducts like propane that can be processed from “wet gas.” Delays in the regulatory process could prevent the expansion of the Marcellus shale gas search in the region.
As Haefelin and Shuster toured the facility, they met Williams' employees from various departments. These included Melissa Sakmar, safety and health specialist 2; Clete Long, supervisor of operations; and Jason Gray, operations supervisor of compressors.
Sakmar is from the Pittsburgh area; Long has worked for Williams for nearly 17 years, much of it in western states, such as Montana and Colorado; Gray grew up in the Smithfield area.
Williams has been operating in Pennsylvania for more than 50 years and in 2009 began dramatically expanding its presence with natural gas gathering, processing and transportation operations in the Marcellus shale, according to information provided by the company. In September 2013, Williams relocated its local Connellsville operations to Enterprise Lane in the Connellsville Industrial Enterprises Industrial Park.
Williams is a Fortune 600 company and is one of the leading energy infrastructure firms in North America. The company has more than 26,000 miles of pipelines in North America and is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.
Karl Polacek is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former public defender sues Fayette County officials over firing
- Jury selection ends in trial for Fayette County boy’s beating death
- Fayette County residents sue over landfill fumes
- Brutal attack gets Fayette County man up to 11 years in prison
- Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corp. chief ousted after 9 weeks
- W.Va. woman in high-speed Fayette chase sentenced to 7 to 14 years
- Southmoreland seniors to don caps and gowns June 4
- Dunbar Twp.’s Upper Sandy Hollow Road, Falls Avenue face repairs
- Masontown man sentenced in crash
- ‘Shrek’ all set at Connellsville High School
- Bullskin, Connellsville youngsters ‘paying it forward’