This year has marked a new chapter of NOPFA’s continuing desire to provide environmental and economical benefits to the counties, cities, and residents, in which it serves. The great State of Oklahoma is a major supplier of natural gas, by increasing the use of natural gas produced from Oklahoma wells, the State’s natural resources are being utilized in an effective manner, providing economic benefit to Oklahoma residents statewide.
For nearly 58 years the Authority has successfully operated its natural gas system, today it continues its mission to bring natural gas and compressed natural gas to those who desire to utilize its benefits.
In 1958 under the innovative leadership of Dr. Harrell E. Garrison, President of Northeastern State University, the Trust was established under the laws of the State of Oklahoma to furnish natural gas, other services, and physical facilities needed or useful within the portion of the State of Oklahoma lying North of the Arkansas River and East of the line dividing Tulsa and Washington counties.
This area had been dependent on propane fuel, wood and electricity to heat homes, businesses, institutions. The purpose of the Trust was to furnish a source of low cost fuel so that this area and its inhabitants could grow and prosper.
Today the Authority is responsible for operating a transmission and distribution system in the following counties; Adair, Cherokee, and Muskogee. The Tahlequah System has grown from 1,264 customers in 1962, to 10,138 customers today. It has 15 miles of transmission lines, 37.5 miles of high distribution lines, 434 miles of distribution main lines, and 192 miles of service lines. The Stilwell-Westville System has a customer base of approximately, 3,022 customers, with 30.6 miles of high distribution lines, 149.4 miles of distribution main lines, and 66 miles of service lines.
NOPFA consistently provides one of the lowest natural gas rates in the state of Oklahoma. NOPFA administrative headquarters are located on North College Avenue in Tahlequah, OK. The Tahlequah System office is on Airport Parkway in Tahlequah, OK. And the Stilwell-Westville System office is located on Doyle Avenue in Stilwell, OK.
The current Board of Trustees are as follows:
- Dr. Steve Turner, Chairman of the Board
- Stilwell Mayor Bill Rodenbeck
- Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols
- Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr. Jon Asbill, Secretary/Treasurer
- Westville Trustee Tony Barker
The Gas Authority’s owns and operate 2 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Filling Stations; one in Tahlequah and one in Stilwell. These state of the art stations produce 1,900 GGE (gas gallon equivalent) of compressed natural gas (CNG) in a normal 12 hour period. The Authority is very excited to provide this economical and environmental benefit to Northeast Oklahoma. As we already do at the meter, we now are able to offer one of the lowest costs at the pump in Oklahoma.
By introducing an alternative fuel to Cherokee and Adair counties, residents and public agencies with fleet vehicles can help control these costs. We are pleased to be a part of such a positive measure that can be implemented to provide a real cost savings.
The Authority is always seeking opportunities to provide natural gas service to the areas we serve. By installing CNG fueling stations at each county seat we are making good use of our existing distribution network.
Development of a Fuel Network
It is our desire to utilize these CNG fueling stations not just for demonstration purposes but as a beginning in development of a viable CNG fueling network that will stretch across Oklahoma in every county. This goal would improve the mobility of residents within the state who wish to travel using CNG based vehicles, and provide them with additional economic opportunities. The Cherokee Nation is in the process of installing a CNG fueling station at the tribal complex.
These activities will no doubt spur the potential market for new firms to enter the CNG fueling station arena. The initial construction of these stations will encourage new investors and entrepreneurs to enter the market sector and provide labor, materials and equipment for additional stations. This will ultimately result in more jobs, market competition, and a reduction in cost of CNG equipment. These projects along with others across our nation are already making an impact on Oklahoma companies.
Tulsa Technology Center and Oklahoma Community College both have established courses to train technicians to install and maintain CNG equipment on vehicles. This creates more jobs in education, and helps to expand the current automotive shop or creates new opportunities for other technicians. Our desire is to bring all these great opportunities to this region and we look forward to continually serving the great people of this area.