Monday, February 6, 2012

Enbridge line will send Canadian tarsands bitumen from Illinois to Cushing

PEKIN, Ill. - A portion of a proposed $1.9 billion pipeline to carry crude oil from Illinois to Oklahoma before heading south to refineries on the Gulf Coast would cut through parts of Livingston, Woodford, Tazewell, Mason and Fulton counties in Illinois.

Being called the Flanagan South Pipeline, the large-scale project by Alberta-based Enbridge Inc. would parallel much of the oil shipper's already existing 650-mile Spearhead Pipeline from Flanagan to Cushing, Okla., site of one of the nation's largest storage facilities for crude oil.

"We've sent a mailing to county commissioners as well as to landowners who might be impacted by the route," Kevin O'Connor, a spokesman for the project, said on Jan. 26.

"We're going to be out in the next several weeks doing some civil surveys, and eventually some environmental surveys to start to give us a better handle of specifics out on the ground."

O'Connor said the diameter of the pipeline currently being considered is 30 inches. The capacity also is still to be determined. The Spearhead line it would parallel, built in the early 1960s, is a 22-inch to 24-inch pipeline that carries 193,300 barrels per day (b/d), according to the company's website.

Provided the pipeline receives the necessary federal and state approval to proceed, construction could begin as soon as mid-year 2013 and be completed by the following year, O'Connor said. It is unclear how many construction jobs the project would entail.

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