Oil pours millions into economy
The Perryman analysis of the project's economic impact during construction estimated the following for Butler County:
Economic expansion for Butler County will include $127.5 million in expenditures, $72 million in personal income gains, and $91.5 million in gross output. Once completed, the project will generate an estimated $94.4 million in property taxes over its expected 100-year lifespan.
Across Kansas, the project was expected to generate $17.9 million in taxes for state and local governments during construction.
As of Tuesday, work on Spread 10 (Sheehan's spread) was 82 percent complete.
A?little more than a month from now, the TransCanada Keystone oil pipeline, passing west of Augusta, will be connected to the fuel hub at Cushing, Okla.
Inspections, hydro-testing and cleanup activities will follow before the delivery of oil from Canadian fields will be possible to the Oklahoma facility. Operations and deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2011.
“When the weather cooperates, work goes real well,” said Jimmy Lovell, spokesman for Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Co., which set up a headquarters near U.S. 54 and Diamond Road in the spring.
“The?fantastic people of the Augusta have embraced the project since we set up camp in this area,” adds Lovell.
Sheehan’s involvement in?Phase II?will end in Cowley County, about 4,000 feet from the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.
Lovell, accustomed to the hills of Arkansas, said digging, drilling, and burying pipeline in Kansas has been a pleasure.
Cushing is this year’s finish line for all of this year's work on the TransCanada line. All concerned with the work expect to reach that point on or around Oct. 31.
A spread can be 100 to 125 miles in length. The contractors and laborers have worked on three spreads from Steele City, Neb., to Cushing, Okla. this year.
Do not think of pipeline installation as a continuous advancing line. The work is done in pre-engineered sections along a spread and then connecting them, (tying-in) at various intervals, and covered.
The entire system will be monitored from Calgary, Canada, and valves along the line will allow maintenance crews to isolate and correct any problems along thee line.
At a cost of $12 billion, this is the largest project in North America since the Alaskan Pipeline.
TransCanada Keystone (Phases III and IV) will link a reliable and stable source of crude oil to U.S. refineries from Hardisty, Canada, to Texas ports on the Gulf Coast and Midwest facilities in between. Canadian crude is expected to arrive at the Gulf of Mexico refinery complex by 2013.
After regulatory permits are obtained state department and other agency paperwork is completed, Jim Prescott of TransCanada looks for pipeline work to resume south of Cushing next year.
The Perryman Group, an independent study group, reported this summer the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline project should provide significant and positive contributions to the national economy.
The Perryman report estimates the project will stimulate more than $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy.
Sales figures by Augusta and area businesses such as suppliers landlords, and restaurants have benefited from the presence of the pipeline officials and crews.
Those workers could be leaving this area for other jobs or winter here until pipeline work picks up in the spring, according to Lovell and Prescott.
They say if workers get eight months of work out of each year it’s been good year for them.
Oil pipeline work is a generational tradition occupation among many of the employees.
A union worker on this week’s pipeline tie-in work at U.S. 54 Highway said he’s planning to seek available work “up north” after he finishes here.
The TransCanada Keystone line goes southeast from Hardisty in?Alberta Province, crossing Saskatchewan and a portion of Manitoba before turning south to the Dakotas in the northern United States. The southward line through Kansas started at Steele City.
A?diagonal “bullet line” straight line section has been proposed for the pipeline from Canada to Steele City, Neb.
TransCanada has more than 50 years’ experience in development of reliable pipeline energy infrastructure in North America including natural gas, oil, and gas facilities.
When finished, The Keystone Pipeline System is expected to provide 5 percent of the current U.S. petroleum-consumption needs and represent 9 percent of U.S. petroleum imports.
The pipeline will have the capability of pumping 1.1 million barrels a day. The Canadian firm has a long-term commitment for 910,000 barrels per day for approximately 18 years.
Land above the pipeline right-of-way has been graded and returned to its original contour by cleanup crews. To ease turns of their equipment some rural intersections were widened which they feel might also help the movement of large agricultural machinery.