TransCanada continues building pipeline across Oklahoma to Gulf Coast

Crews are spread out across Oklahoma working on TransCanada's Gulf Coast project, a 485-mile oil pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.
by Jay F. Marks Published: January 16, 2013

The daily “scatter sheet” tells the story. The one-page report details how TransCanada is deploying about 850 workers along the Oklahoma portion of its Gulf Coast pipeline.

The 485-mile pipeline is being built in pieces, with construction broken into three spreads to increase efficiency. The longest spread extends about 195 miles from Cushing to the other side of the Texas border.

“It works in an assembly-line fashion,” project spokesman Jim Prescott said.

There are about 30 crews assigned to tasks from locating the company's right of way and erecting fences to lowering in pipe and welding it together.

Crews begin each day at TransCanada's construction yard in Prague before being bused to work sites spread over about 70 miles along the pipeline route.

Trucks move loads of 30-inch pipe from the storage yard at Cushing to where it is needed along the route.

“This is a typical day,” Prescott said. “There's a lot of moving parts.”

Tuesday, one crew was working to tie together two sections of pipe south of Cushing, while another was putting up fences along the right of way in Coal County.

Roger Stogsdill, an assistant chief inspector, said each section of pipe is about 80 feet long.

Crews use a hoe or trenching machine to dig ditches for the underground pipeline, which rests on urethane “pillows” to keep it off the bottom, he said. The pipe also is padded to keep its protective coating from being damaged by rocks when it is buried.

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by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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