Keystone Pipeline Project Moving Toward Completion

November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

Construction on TransCanada Corporation’s long-distance, large-diameter C$5.2 billion Keystone crude oil pipeline reaching from Canada’s Alberta oil fields to markets in the U.S. Midwest is grinding to completion after more than two years of intensive construction activity.

The Keystone construction scope involved building a 2,148-mile, 30- and 36-inch pipeline to transport up to 590,000 bopd from the terminal and storage facilities at Hardisty, Alberta to markets at Wood River and Patoka, IL and on to Cushing, OK.

Mobilization of equipment and services, including construction, for the project started in 2008. Site of first construction was in North Dakota at the U.S.-Canadian border in May 2008 with Canadian construction getting under way during June 2008. Completion on the pipeline section to Cushing is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Although Keystone is several months from completion, TransCanada has started filling completed sections of the pipeline system.

Originally, the Keystone system was a partnership between TransCanada and ConocoPhillips. However, TransCanada became the lone owner and operator in June 2009 through a purchase transaction.

TransCanada also received approval in March 2010 from the National Energy Board in Canada for a proposed Keystone expansion project. This expansion is a planned 1,959-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline stretching from Hardisty, Alberta and moving southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It will link up with a portion of the Keystone Pipeline being built through Kansas to Cushing, and facilitate take away capacity from U.S. hubs located on the pipeline. The pipeline will then continue on through Oklahoma to a delivery point near existing terminals in Nederland, TX, to serve the Port Arthur, TX, marketplace.

Contracts
In the U.S., UniversalPegasus International and Trow Engineering Consultants were contracted to handle design, engineering and construction management for the project. UniversalPegasus also provided inspection services while Trow also handled an environmental inspection this year. Construction contracts were awarded to Henkels & McCoy, Inc., Michels Corp., Price Gregory International and Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Co.