Natural Gas Project

The Tano Road Association (TRA) has been working with New Mexico Gas Company (NMGCO) to bring natural gas to as many homes in our neighborhood as possible.  The most efficient and inexpensive way to do this is to engage small clusters of houses that are most easily serviced to coordinate share costs.

Natural Gas Pipeline Extension Project Update From Jack Purson: June, 2018

Natural gas prices have dropped in recent years because of a supply glut resulting from advances in horizontal drilling technology. The cost of propane is near historic lows as well but the day will come when oil prices rebound and when it does, propane will lead the way. The price of oil and propane is not government regulated but natural gas IS. Natural gas costs will fluctuate much more slowly and not peak as high as the unregulated fossil fuels.

Because of this current oversupply situation for natural gas, our New Mexico Gas Company is trying to expand their customer base by absorbing a greater proportion of the cost of pipeline extension, normally incurred by new customers. I don’t have actual figures but it looks like a 10%-20% reduction over the total costs from 5-8 years ago. That makes the pay-back period shorter, after which your annual savings are permanent and you will never worry about running out of heating fuel because the propane truck didn’t show up.

Now in 2018, the Tano Road area has a significant area on the east side where natural gas is available but we still lack pipeline that connects to the Sundance area pipelines to the west. A goal of TRA is to support homeowners with activities that enhance property values. Buyers of homes here are keenly aware of the value of access to cheaper, reliable natural gas. Although the NM process of extending gas lines may be somewhat arduous and bureaucratic, experienced TRA members are available to assist. Please contact your TRA Board for more information.

Natural Gas Pipeline Extension Project Update From Bob Keaty: July 21, 2013

The project to extend the natural gas pipeline further along Tano Road to homes along Tequila Sunset and Rancho Manana has just reached its first milestone and should be completed by the time temperatures turn cool again in October.

14 residents have expressed interest in participating in the project and the total main pipeline distance will be just under 5000 feet. NMGCO has drawn up contracts and we are waiting for their review board approval; we expect to have drafts sometime in the next two weeks. We have also selected an excavator to do the actual work and are scheduled to begin early August.

Preliminary estimates for the main line point to participant costs of under $6,000/home, excluding costs for individual home hook-up and replacement of appliances. We are meeting with NMGCO to get individual home hook-up costs sorted out in the coming week. The final costs will depend on how far the home is located from the main line.

Participants have been contacting plumbers to understand which of their appliances will need to be replaced or modified. As most of the homes in this area are fairly new, only the water-heaters will need to be replaced; stoves, oven, furnaces and boilers will need to have their jets replaced.

Overall, the project has gone smoothly and we are on track for hook-up before winter arrives. Making sure everyone fully understands the project and associated costs has been the biggest effort and as oil prices rise and the difference between natural gas and propane prices grows, the investment in converting to natural gas looks even more attractive. We expect a very short repayment period for our investment.

Please contact me at bob.keaty@gmail.com if you have any questions or need information about bringing natural gas to your area.

Update: June, 2013

Bob Keaty has been working hard on getting a proposal from the New Mexico Gas Company (NMGCO) for installing a natural gas pipeline on Tequila Sunrise and Rancho Manana.  All residents on Tequila Sunrise have expressed an interest as have most of the folks on Rancho Manana.  If all goes well, residents can commit in early July and work will be completed in early October.

Bob is also looking at an alternate proposal that would include Camino Don Patron in this part of the project.

Bob, a resident on Rancho Manana, can be reached at bob.keaty@gmail.com if you have questions on this part of the natural gas pipeline project.

Future areas of expansion are under discussion.

 

See the latest brochure as of May 15, 2012.

View the letter to the TRA Community regarding the natural gas feasibility study.

Below are the updates that Jack Purson posted as he worked on extending natural gas into the neighborhood. Those TRA homeowners who are following the gas extension project are encouraged to stay in touch here for progress reports.

November 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm
It has been more than two months since my last update and much has happened. The extension project is proceeding well. NMGCO has decided to hire a different company to do the Yard lines (that’s the piping between the gas main and the meter) and they are proceeding pretty fast. They are finished along Calle San Acacia and only one remains on San Martin. There is still a 200′ section of main gas line along Camino Montoyas that needs installation before the larger project is considered complete. The trenching contractor will also need to complete a 360′ lateral extension along Calle San Martin Court. I expect everything except the 360′ lateral to be finished by Thanksgiving (or shortly thereafter) and everyone will have gas to their property that paid for it. I do not expect any new surprise costs to arise. The amount of the contract overage is approximately $4100 but we’ll know when we get a final invoice.

This project began in May and it will be December soon. The patience of the participating homeowners has been admirable. I am grateful to the TRA for their support in driving this project forward. While it was no small task to actually do, the planning, dedication, and foresight by the TRA Board over the years is what really made this happen.

September 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm
Well, the usual delays resulted in the the Call San Martin trenching restarting today instead of last week. The inauspicious restart began with the unfortunate rupture of unmarked telephone lines and some unmarked private electrical lines. Yes, there are many unknown wires under the road and there have been diligent efforts to locate them before digging. The contractor apologizes for the disruptions and will make every effort to restore services as soon as possible, despite some details in the County permit which may result in delays. The main gas line is approximately 75% complete. The most difficult part of the job will be done when the trench reaches the turnoff to Calle San Acacia. That is expected to occur next week.

On a positive note, the Calle San Acacia portion of the extension is essentially finished!

September 16, 2012 at 11:05 am
The gas line extension project is moving along in fits and starts. The crew put pipe along Calle San Martin for about 800 feet but had to stop because the roadway was not sufficiently wide to safely allow through traffic, according to the County. The new plan is to arrange for daily road closures on Calle San Martin with traffic being directed to use Calle San Acacia. Access to each driveway will be maintained as best as possible during closures. As work progresses, San Acacia residents will be able to use San Martin to avoid the construction zone. The roadway will be opened after the work day and will be open weekends, although the signage will stay up. The County requires that the gate between San Acacia and San Martin be unable to close, 24/7, for the entire duration of the project but will be replaced when full access is restored in approximately 3-4 weeks. There is a county Emergency Response office that will be informed of the road closure plan and will notify fire, medical, and sheriff responders to the situation and the alternate route. The excavation crew began work on San Acacia while the details of the San Martin road closure plan are finalized. They expect to restart on San Martin around September 19 after the county permit has been modified and notifications made.

September 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm
The excavation company has finished the gas extension along Tano Rd. between 144 Tano and Calle San Martin. They started along San Martin this morning with equipment that was a bit unfamiliar to them. The first day or two of any new stretch is always a learning experience with inevitable mistakes. For example, today some phone lines were severed during the dig because CenturyLink did not locate them correctly. They are now aware of the phone line and are trying harder to stay away from where they think it might be.

While the digging is progressing well, we didn’t do a great job of warning residents about the lack of access while the trench was being dug and the pipe laid. The longest job is welding the 40′ sections of plastic pipe together and there is only one crewman who is certified to do it. The result was that it is taking longer than expected to return access to the driveway and side street that were crossed. This problem appears to be at least temporarily fixed (late afternoon Wednesday) and will be fully fixed by 7 PM. Unfortunately, the phone company has not been prompt with their repair service. TRA is sorry for the inconvenience but please be aware that the excavation company is working as quickly as possible to remediate these problems.

Also, Calle San Martin residents might be able to avoid the construction zone entirely by driving westward and using the open gate at the Calle San Acacia subdivision and on to Camino de los Montoyas.

August 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm
Tano Alto is somewhat closer to a natural gas pipeline than other areas of the TRA. As such, it is possible that this street would be a strong candidate for one of the next extensions. I do not know when another extension will be done but I think it would be helpful to the TRA to know about any clusters of 10+ residents who are interested in participating.

August 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm
Hi: Thank you for all your efforts on be half of us all!.
Has any interest been shown by residents of Tano Alto?
Would it be appropriate of me to contact those I know?
Can you refer me to written materials I can pass on where any interest is shown?
Thank you again, Jim Duncan, Sr.

August27, 2012 at 12:52 pm
The digging has begun! The trench crew started last Wednesday eastward along Tano Rd. and many of you have been delayed a bit as you passed the construction site. They are soon to reach Calle San Martin and head south to Calle San Acacia. We have mapped out the pathway and planned for the known physical obstacles. Now the crews do their job and we hope that there are few unseen challenges remaining. We have thus far seen some heavy cobblestone that had not been observed in previous trenches. Most of these sections will need to be backfilled with clean fill dirt to protect the pipe from damage by rocks…at added cost. I’ll do my best to limit the use of this padding but neither do we wish to jeopardize the integrity and lifespan of the gas line.

More updates more frequently in the next couple of weeks. Remember that the trenching crews do not typically work of Fridays but they WILL next week because of the Monday Labor Day holiday.

July 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm
It is the last day of July, 2012 and we are officially committed to the gas line extension! We collected the checks and have turned them over to our treasurer for deposit. The treasurer wrote checks to NMGCO and Sunrise Excavation to begin the work. Now we must await the delivery of gas line pipes before the digging begins. However, there is much yet to prepare: phone, electric, and water lines must be located and marked (this has already begun), permits obtained, and maybe a few yard lines to install. Work on the main line is set to begin in 2-4 weeks depending on scheduling. The estimate for completion is mid to late September.

July 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm
We have obtained final pricing for the gas project along Calles San Martin and San Acacia! The distance is 6710 feet and the cost will be $103K±. Determination of pricing was complicated by deep arroyos and roadway restoration questions. TRA managed to reduce the overall cost by more than $20K by sharing risk with the trenching contractor and allowing change-order fees rather than paying up front for services that may not be required. A contingency fund of approximately 7% is being collected to pay for unforeseen expenses. Previous experience along Tano suggests that our exposure to added costs is very low.

We are currently collecting payment from the participants, assuming everyone is still ‘in’. Once all funds are banked, contracts will be signed and material supply orders placed by NMGCO. Trenching shall commence in about 3-4 weeks and will take another 3-4 weeks to complete. There are still many details to finish. Utility and phone lines need to be located and detailed plans drawn up for road remediation and bore equipment requirements. There may be crews along the roadways in 2-3 weeks so please drive carefully.

July 10, 2012 at 8:51 am
Well, the July 4 holiday weeks has created some havoc on our gas line extension progress. Key people were on vacation and communication was slow. Today would seem to get us back on track and I hope to be able to finalize all of our costs within the next 48 hours and find out if there are still enough patient participants to make this effort move forward. When there are large numbers of people, many unexpected turns can happen. Stay tuned!

June 28, 2012 at 9:17 am
Update: Tomorrow, an NMGCO representative and I will be out along Calle San Martin and Calle San Acacia wheel-measuring out the final, actual distances to be used for calculation of cost. Previous distances used for estimated costs were taken off of maps via computer and are considered accurate to within a few percent. Our “working number” for cost on this project is a bit over $100K but distances and credits are needed to write a contract.

June 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm
Update: Today is a “Red letter” day! I took all of the applications and documentation to NMGCO this morning! It is anything but certain that this project will move forward given the low participation but at least we’ll have a solid, actual cost for participants to evaluate. The final cost numbers for the main line extension will be available within 2 weeks and that will be followed by collection of checks, provided of course that there is still interest given the final numbers.

June 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm
Update: The first home clusters to be worked for the natural gas extension are Calle San Martin and Calle San Acacia. The neighbors there have been contacted and we have a rough idea how many people are interested enough to submit the paperwork to the New Mexico Gas Co. for determination of the final cost analysis. Right now, the participation along Calle San Martin is less than expected and it will be interesting to see if the project will move forward given the higher cost per homeowner. The deadline for submission is coming up in the next week or so.