Crews Dig Through Mo. to Build Flanagan South Pipeline

3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago November 01, 2013 Nov 1, 2013 Friday, November 01 2013 Friday, November 01, 2013 2:39:00 PM CDT in News
By: Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JOHNSON COUNTY - Thousands of workers are digging trenches in rural Missouri to build a pipeline that will carry thousands of barrels of Canadian crude oil through the Show-Me State.

Enbridge, a Canadian energy transportation company, is constructing the Flanagan South pipeline to carry the crude oil from the "oil sands region" of Alberta to refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions in the U.S. The Flanagan South pipeline travels in a northeast to southwest trajectory from Flanagan, Ill. to Cushing, Okla. In Flanagan, it connects with existing pipelines that run northwest to the oil sands. Enbridge began construction on Flanagan South in mid-August after the company finished two years of negotiations with landowners. Enbridge also got approval from several state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers.

Flanagan South will cross through 11 Missouri counties when crews finish work, including Randolph, Macon, Shelby and Saline counties. The pipeline will be able to carry more than 600,000 barrels of oil per day when it is finished. Flanagan South will be built parallel to the Spearhead pipeline, which is also owned by Enbridge. Sinclair built the Spearhead pipeline in the 1950s and it currently carries 175,000 barrels per day.

Thousands of workers head out each day to the "spreads," or streches of pipeline construction. In Missouri, one spread is based in Johnson County near Warrensburg and the other works out of Randolph County, near Moberly. Crews work long days and are able to lay more than one mile of pipeline each day.

After surveying the area, crews dig out the topsoil to form a trench. Crews then bend and weld sections of pipe to follow the contours of the land. After crews place the pipe into the ground, they cover the trench with topsoil.

The pipeline will eventually carry diluted bitumen, known as "dilbit." The raw product found in the Candian oil sands is called bitumen and it does not flow in its natural state. Bitumen is refined to extract the sand, which forms dilbit, a product that is less dense and can flow through a pipeline.

Nearly 1,000 workers set out each day on each spread and Enbridge said the workers spend money in communities along the right-of-way and generate an economic boost.

David Gaines, the President of the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation, said the influx of workers has generated an economic "shot in the arm" for the region. 

"It is millions of dollars of payroll in the multi-county region that had not been there this time before," Gaines said. "So as a result we're seeing folks shopping in our grocery stores, our retail stores and our laundromats. So it has been very good for a lot of people in the area."

Enbridge expects the project to generate $25 million in sales tax revenue for Missouri.

The company using the services of several contractors, including Texas-based U.S. pipeline. The company said those contractors have agreements with local unions and hundreds of the pipeline workers are local hires.

Although the pipeline is providing a short-term economic boost, environmental groups oppose the construction.

Heather Navarro, executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, said Missourians will be left with volatile infrastructure that will receive only occasional monitoring from the company. Enbridge expects Flanagan South to generate 2 permanent jobs in Missouri.

An Enbridge pipeline spill in Michigan in 2010 caused 1.1 million gallons of crude to pour into streams. The company has spent $750 million in recent years trying to clean up the mess.

Navarro said the company does not have a good record and said communities may not be adequately prepared to handle an emergency.

Flanangan South received approval from the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers through a process known as a Nationwide 12 permit. The nationwide permit process does not require public comment and is an expedited approval process because it is completed with the understanding a project will have a minimal environmental impact.

Henry Robertson works as an attorney for Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment against the Corps. Robertson said the Corps. did not provide the information he requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Robertson said the Corps. treated each stream crossing as a separate project instead of looking at the pipeline's environmental impact in its entirety.

"When you add the whole thing up, 2,000 stream crossings and 600 miles of pipeline, That's not a minimal project," Robertson said. "That's a major project and that should be subject to stricter regulation and a little public scrutiny."

Robertson said he hopes he can get documents from the Corps. to explain how the project was approved, but he said he knows he cannot stop the construction at this point.

Although the pipeline has received some opposition from environmental groups, Enbridge spokeswoman Lara Burhenn said many Missourians have embraced the project and realize it is important to American energy independence.

"We're getting this crude from a North American source which is helping us not rely on those more volatile sources from overseas," Burhenn said. "Consumers understand there's a larger demand and therefore the need for this additional infrastructure."

Enbridge expects to complete the pipeline in mid-2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood opponents are planning a month of protests after a march that drew between 50 and 100... More >>
16 minutes ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:57:00 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to neglect after authorities say she left her 2-year-old boy... More >>
42 minutes ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:30:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- Local dog boarding facilities are amping up their luxury of care for your pet. Several big city boarding... More >>
6 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:23:11 AM CST in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested a suspect in connection with a weekend shooting death south of... More >>
8 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents of older homes in Columbia could be eligible for free water testing for lead. The My... More >>
9 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:58:00 AM CST in News
LACLEDE COUNTY — A man accused of assaulting and sexually abusing his 5-month-old daughter nearly eight years ago finally has... More >>
19 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — United Airlines flight schedules posted to its website Saturday night showed two new flights out of Columbia Regional... More >>
20 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his local office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
21 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
22 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
23 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A crash involving an anhydrous ammonia trailer killed one person in Jefferson City Saturday morning. According... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Representatives from two East Campus housing associations spoke at the Unified Development Code public forum Saturday and found... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians attended the 6th Annual Fitness for a Cure event Saturday, an event that benefitted the... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:01:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A woman has been accused of stabbing a worker at a General Motors plant near St.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:27:08 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — It could soon be legal for travelers to take their booze from the bar to their... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:04:05 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It all started with a Madden tournament. Columbia College's new president at the time, Scott Dalrymple, challenged students... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 8:39:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
7pm 41°
8pm 39°
9pm 39°
10pm 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
Dateline NBC
8:00p
Neighbors
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
6:00p
Alfie
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
8:00p
Neighbors
6:00p
Alfie
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld