Keystone Pipeline Project Moving Toward Completion

November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

Henkels & McCoy, Inc. was assigned Spread 1, which consisted of laying 130 miles of 30-inch pipe from the U.S.-Canadian border to a point in Barnes County ND. Michels handled Spreads 2 and 3, consisting of 275 miles of 30-inch. Spread 2 picked up where the first spread left off and ran to a point in Day County, SD. Spread 3 extended into Hutchinson County, SD.

Price Gregory was contracted for Spreads 4 through 7, and Sheehan built Spread 8. This work extended from Hutchinson Country, SD through Nebraska and Missouri to Wood River and Patoka. The 295 miles of Phase II (Spreads 9, 10 and 11) extend from Illinois through Nebraska and Kansas to Cushing, OK. Price Gregory worked on Spreads 9 and 11 and Sheehan worked on Spread 10.

For the most part, the mainline route from the U.S.-Canadian border to Illinois and the Cushing section covered good pipeline construction terrain consisting of rolling hills, flat land and farm land with some rock. Trenching for the line was performed using conventional methods.

While the work was reasonably standard, the project was not without a number of challenges. For example, the route crosses countless road crossings and required 24 directionally drilled river and stream crossings along the mainline and six directionally drilled rivers on the Cushing section. The river crossings were contracted to Laney Directional Drilling and Southeast Drilling. Pre-construction activity provided the biggest challenges, such as working with 4,500 landowners and acquiring permits in six different states.

Pump stations
Keystone’s overall design initially called for 43 pump stations, including 16 stations in Canada plus the Hardisty Terminal. The U.S. mainline stretch has 23 stations installed and the Cushing section required four stations. On average, three pumping units are located at each station with an estimated 4,000 horsepower per unit.

TransCanada designated the stations by groups with Canada’s Group 1 stations located in Alberta, Group 2 in Saskatchewan, and Group 3 and Group 4 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The U.S. groups include Group 1 and Group 2 in North Dakota and South Dakota; Group 3 and Group 4 in Nebraska and Kansas and Group 5 in Missouri and Illinois. Installation contractors for the stations included Monad, Whaler Industrial Contracting, Inc. and Lockerbie & Hole Eastern, Inc. in Canada, and Industrial Company Wyoming, Willbros, and Jones-Blythe Construction Co. in the U.S. NUSCO Northern was the contractor for the storage tanks at the Hardisty terminal.