News Release
April 17, 2003


HOUSTON – The drilling crew working on Duke Energy Gas Transmission’s (DEGT) Patriot pipeline project has successfully completed the pilot hole under the New River in Wythe County, Va., using a standard industry practice known as horizontal directional drilling.


Work at the New River site will now focus on enlarging the 10-inch diameter pilot hole that was completed Monday to accommodate a 24-inch diameter pipeline that will be permanently placed at least 50 feet under the New River. East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG), the DEGT affiliate building the pipeline, has assured Virginia state officials the pipeline will be buried at a minimum of 35 feet below the river bed.


The 1,666-foot crossing under the New River and the New River Trail State Park facilitates a small portion of the Patriot Extension, a 94-mile natural gas pipeline that will extend DEGT’s existing ETNG system into southwest Virginia and North Carolina. The Patriot Extension is part of the larger Patriot project that includes expansion of the existing ETNG system in Tennessee and portions of southwest Virginia.


“We are pleased to complete the pilot hole under the New River and our initial plans to complete the drilling are on target,” said Rick Smith, Patriot project director. “We look forward to completing the installation of the pipe at the New River and moving ahead with construction.”


Concurrent with the New River drill and pipe laying, construction crews also are building an additional pipeline within the existing ETNG easement in Sullivan County, Tenn., and plan to start additional pipeline construction in Virginia in the upcoming weeks.


More information on the Patriot project can be found at


The ETNG pipeline system has transported natural gas to industries and local distribution companies (LDCs) in Tennessee and parts of Virginia for the past 50 years. This 1,129-mile pipeline system begins in central Tennessee, converges near Knoxville and extends to a point near Roanoke, Va. The system provides natural gas transportation and storage services to about 40 LDCs and 17 industries in the region.


Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing energy infrastructure and connecting major natural gas supply basins to growing markets. The company’s natural gas operations include more than 18,000 miles of interstate transmission pipeline and 250 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information on DEGT can be found at:


Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at:


Contact: Gretchen Krueger
Phone: 713/627-4072
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