Oklahoma ground is home to a sea of pipelines

With more people outside in summer, it is important that they keep watch for pipeline leaks and know what to do if a leak occurs, a pipeline safety organization warned this week.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: July 12, 2013

Oil and natural gas pipelines crisscross Oklahoma and much of the country, transporting fuel and other products from production centers to storage centers, refineries and eventually to consumers.

The recent oil leak in Arkansas and the controversial Keystone XL project have drawn attention to the largest pipelines, which transport crude oil up and down the Plains, but thousands of other lines weave their way throughout the area.

Known as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” Cushing is one of the largest crude oil transport and storage hubs in the country. A pipeline operator in Cushing once described the intricate infrastructure under the northeast Oklahoma community as “an upside-down bowl of spaghetti.”

The pipes that lead to and from Cushing cross throughout the state.

Besides the large pipelines, the underground landscape also is covered with thousands of smaller lines, including the distribution lines that bring natural gas to homes, neighborhoods, apartments and offices. Pipes also connect to the oil and natural gas wells that dot the Oklahoma City suburbs.

Utilities and pipeline operators often encourage people to call 811 before they dig for anything in their yards or around their businesses. Homeowners can accidentally cut one of the many dangerous pipelines under their property if they do not first call to have lines marked. More information is available at www.call811.com.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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