Oil To Market: A History Of Pipelines In Wyoming
In economic terms, an oil properly and not using a pipeline is like a heart with no arteries.
When, in its first decade, Wyoming’s oil manufacturing was limited to some seeping fractures and shallow wells, conveying petroleum to market could possibly be achieved by use of simple whiskey barrels and horse-drawn wagons.
But as the number of prolific wells elevated in the 1890s at places just like the Shannon and Salt Creek fields north of Casper, Wyo. manufacturing outstripped the capability of operators to maneuver it successfully.
“Lack of transportation hitherto has stored the Salt Creek oil out of the market,” the Casper Press noted on April 21, 1911. “The wells have been drilled and then both plugged, or the oil has been wasted.”
Difficulties of oil transportation arose as soon as Edwin Drake became first within the United States to successfully make use of a drilling rig to supply oil close to Titusville, Pa. in 1859. Leaky barrels and even washtubs have been used to haul away then modest amounts of crude oil.
But as oil exploration elevated, extra environment friendly means had been required. One early plan called for a 6-inch diameter picket pipeline to transport oil from an outdated salt well in Wirt County, W.Va. to a proposed refinery in Parkersburg. Because of the Civil War, the road was by no means constructed.
With drilling spreading throughout the continent, efficient transport of crude oil became much more urgent. Wood pipelines had been eventually employed on a limited basis, along with forged-iron and wrought-iron traces in and around wells, as manufacturing ramped up.
Wyoming oilmen faced even greater transportation difficulties than their counterparts within the East, since oil fields were often developed at remote areas the place terrain was tough even in good weather.
In the early days of the Shannon and Salt Creek fields, oil was hauled in strings of wagons pulled by so-called string teams of 12 to 18 horses or mules. The 100-mile round trip could take per week in good weather, or two weeks in dangerous. Teamsters carried shovel and picks, and sometimes have been obliged to create a highway as they went.
Freight wagons have been used to haul all manner of materials from livestock feed and food rations to oilfield equipment and barrels full of oil. A load of Shannon crude usually consisted of forty five barrels roped down in two or three wagons coupled collectively.
Previous to 1900, markets for crude oil have been restricted. The Union Pacific used some unrefined petroleum for lubricating railcar axles, and kerosene was used for lighting in rural properties. However, because the U.S. shifted from an agricultural to an industrial financial system–coupled with introduction of the internal combustion engine and cars–the demand for oil accelerated.
Tank wagons and pipeline proposals
In 1895, Wyoming’s first oil refinery was constructed in Casper. “The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas company owns each the wells, of which there are now seven, and the refinery right here,” the Natrona Tribune reported on Sept. 5, 1895. “Geo. B. McCalmont, who’s the mayor of Casper in addition to associate legislation decide of the district courtroom and an excellent fellow besides, is vice-president and supervisor of the corporate. He thinks his company will lay a pipe line from the wells to city in all probability subsequent 12 months.”
Regardless of such pipeline hypothesis, horse energy remained the mainstay for hauling crude oil. New horse-drawn tank wagons left Casper in January 1898 for Salt Creek. It was 10 days before the outfit returned.
John McClure arrived in Casper on a Monday, together with his 14-horse team and full tanks. The combined weight of his three wagons was 28,400 pounds, together with 19,seven hundred pounds of oil. This was 5,000 pounds extra oil than was ever brought in by using barrels.
“Not solely is there an ideal benefit with the brand new tanks in hauling extra oil, but there is much time saved in loading on the wells and unloading on the refinery, and it is rather seemingly that this methodology of transportation of the crude oil from the wells to the refinery be will continued till the demand for the product will warrant the oil company to put in a pipe line,” the Natrona County Tribune surmised.
And indeed, between 1889 and 1910, several pipelines and other oil transportation initiatives have been thought-about within the state to handle the quickly increasing manufacturing.
“Oil has been pouring out of the gushing Lander wells for a while,” oil expert James F. Callbreath observed in 1907. “We have been obliged to burn it to protect surrounding water and lands, as we haven’t any solution to store or ship it.”
A pipeline from Fremont and Converse counties to a railroad at Orin Junction was thought of. One other plan envisioned a 6-inch pipeline with a capability of 10,000 barrels of oil per day working from Casper to Laramie, then to Fort Collins and Denver.
In 1906, an Omaha syndicate proposed a pipeline between Lander and Omaha—which would have been the longest within the world—at a value of $2 million. On the time, there were thirteen flowing wells within the Popo Agie fields close to Lander, and “twice every month, 1,000 barrels of oil have to be burned to maintain the oil from flowing into the river and ruining the crops of the farmers along the stream,” in line with the Wyoming Tribune.
A line from Salt Creek to Casper
In 1911, the Midwest Oil Co. completed a 6-inch diameter pipeline from the Salt Creek Field to a 2,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Casper.
“The demand for any sort of oil in the northwest may be very great and the availability very small. The demand for gasoline is great in every single place,” defined the Casper Press article heralding the venture. “At the excessive north end of the Salt Creek fields are the wells producing the Shannon lubricating oils, which have the first prize as lubricants at several world expositions, and which are hauled out in wagons.”
By November 1911, two pipelines had been accomplished from Salt Creek to Casper. Throughout the identical period, the Franco-Wyoming Co. ran a pipeline between Casper and Drugs Bow, Wyo. bringing oil to the Union Pacific Railroad. One other line was considered from Casper to Denver by way of Cheyenne. In addition to the Union Pacific, the intention was to produce the Burlington; Colorado and Southern; the North Western; the great Western and the Northern Pacific railroads with oil for gas.
Some new pipelines had been dedicated to conveying natural gas. In 1911, residence use of natural gasoline started in Greybull, Wyo. and Basin, Wyo. In 1912, fuel was transported via pipeline from the close by Byron field to the town of Byron, Wyo.
A major undertaking to expand natural gas supplies within the Bighorn Basin was accomplished by the big Horn Gasoline Co. in 1927. This entailed laying a pipeline from the Little Buffalo Basin Discipline in Park and Scorching Springs counties to the Nowood River, where it tied right into a fuel foremost running to Greybull and different factors north. The effort concerned laying over forty two miles of 14-inch pipe and nearly 14 miles of 12-inch pipe.
A pipeline within the Lance Creek Subject near Lusk, Wyo. was started in 1919 throughout an oil and gasoline increase. “Men working around the clock hired women to attend in line at the put up workplace for their mail,” according to one account.
In 1921, Producers and Refiners Corp. and the Midwest Refining Co. built a 90-mile pipeline, the most important pure gas line in Wyoming at time. The state’s natural gasoline consumption had reached 15 billion cubic feet in 1921, driven largely by industrial-refinery and domestic customers in Casper.
By 1928, a complete of one gasoline, 20 natural gas and 39 oil pipelines–nearly 2,000 miles of pipe in all—had been laid in Wyoming. Eight oil pipelines ran from the Salt Creek Area to Casper, the most of anywhere within the state.
Pure gasoline service was extended to many Wyoming towns within the thirties, together with Laramie, where the city’s first gas pipeline opened in 1933.
Oil and fuel costs fell, nonetheless, after the inventory market crash of 1929. One report indicated that soon after the bust, Salt Creek crude oil could possibly be purchased for 19 cents a barrel. Prices stayed low, as the nice Depression dampened oil and gas activity by many of the 1930s.
Longer distances, more security
The top of the 1930s noticed pipelines being constructed over longer distances—and requiring more security to protect them. In 1938, the first oil pipeline to cross from Wyoming into another state was laid from Lance Creek to Denver.
Some pipelines invited thievery, since gasoline may very well be siphoned off and sold on the black market.
Tom Heaney, a special deputy sheriff engaged on contract with the Stanolind Oil and Gas Co. in the late 1920s and early thirties, patrolled a pipeline carrying naptha gasoline from a refinery in Casper again to Salt Creek to run the pumps on the oil wells. This specific line was constructed of 4-inch, welded steel pipe, buried about 30 inches deep. Heaney and his males have been armed, and fairly often, so have been their adversaries.
As World Conflict II loomed, officials within the U.S. authorities grew more and more concerned about oil transportation safety.
After America entered the warfare, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes supported pipeline building in order to maneuver crude oil overland from Texas to the East Coast, thus avoiding assaults by German U-boats on the high seas. The end result was two pipelines –the 24-inch diameter “Big Inch” and the 20-inch diameter “Little Large Inch.” The traces had been constructed by the Conflict Emergency Pipelines Company, a nonprofit company backed by the biggest U.S. oil firms. Both were accomplished in 1943.
At the same time, advances in metals, welding techniques and pipe manufacturing during the battle made main pipelines economically engaging.
New, extra distant markets
In 1952, the Platte Pipeline was constructed. This landmark mission opened wholly new markets within the Midwest for oil produced within the Rocky Mountain area. When completed, the pipeline linked Wyoming oil fields via Casper to factors as far east as Wood River, Ill. a distance of 1,056 miles. It was originally called the “Downhill Pipeline” because the journey to Illinois was all downhill.
The Platte Pipeline was built by the 5 house owners of the Platte Pipe Line Co. – Gulf; Conoco; Marathon; Pure Oil, a division of Union Oil of California; and Sinclair Pipeline. Total value (in 1952 dollars) was $sixty nine.35 million.
The Belle Fourche Pipeline was constructed within the mid-1950s to hold oil from fields in northeastern Wyoming, the place the river of the same name is positioned.
“After making an attempt without success to get each pipeline even remotely associated with northeastern Wyoming to build a pipeline, we determined we’d have to do so ourselves,” True Oil Co. founder H.A. “Dave” True stated in an Aug. 23, 1991 speech before the Newcomen Society of the United States. “So the 5 working-curiosity homeowners, including True Oil Co. in our group of Donkey Creek leases formed the Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. …”
By 1967, Casper-primarily based True Oil Co. had purchased out the remaining exterior curiosity within the Belle Fourche Pipeline Co.
Throughout the 1980s oil-worth bust, petroleum manufacturing declined, and many of the Platte Pipeline’s working facilities had been basically mothballed. Within the mid-nineteen nineties, oil sands petroleum from Alberta entered the market, and along with it, increased demand from Midwestern refineries for use of the Platte Pipeline.
Alberta Energy and TransCanada purchased the Platte Pipeline and in addition built the Express Pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Casper. In the process, the Platte Pipeline was upgraded.
Booms in pure gasoline activity ushered in a new chapter in Wyoming’s pipeline historical past within the nineteen nineties. New tasks, particularly associated to coal-mattress methane in the Powder River Basin and tight-sands natural gasoline production in Jonah Area and on the Pinedale Anticline, resulted in the construction of lengthy-distance lines to each the West Coast and Midwest.
Because export pipeline capabilities have been severely restricted, Wyoming natural gas producers were receiving solely a fraction of the nationwide common value. So constructing new pure fuel pipelines grew to become a high precedence.
In 1985, Kern River Gasoline Transmission Co. submitted an utility with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct a high-stress pure gasoline pipeline from southwestern Wyoming to southern California. It went into service on Feb. 15, 1992.
In 1997, the Express Pipeline out of Canada started operations, and now connects with the Platte Pipeline. The Categorical line transports crude from Alberta to markets within the U.S. together with a brand new crude-oil-to-railroad loading facility in Casper. Oil within the Platte Pipeline comes largely from domestic sources just like the booming fields of the Bakken shale of western North Dakota.
The twenty first Century
In 2003, a significant growth elevated Kern River’s capability on the Wyoming-to-California line. Extra expansion projects boosted the capacity even more, bringing the 2014 design capability to 2.17 billion cubic ft per day.
In 2010, construction began on a serious challenge between the pipeline hub at Opal, in western Wyoming, and Malin, Ore. The 680-mile-lengthy Ruby Pipeline offers natural gasoline from Rocky Mountain manufacturing zones to prospects in California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.
The 1,698-mile-long Rockies Express pipeline system was the most important pure fuel pipeline built in decades and considered one of the largest such strains ever in-built North America. It turned totally operational in November 2009 with a design petroleum equipment services association of hong kong capability of 1.8 billion cubic toes of natural gas per day.
Rockies Specific was meant to move a glut of natural fuel from Wyoming and Colorado to markets as far away as the East Coast, and thus address low natural gasoline costs by offering an choice in high-demand markets. And for a time, western prices began to rise.
“What was unforeseen was the finding of pure gasoline in the Marcellus and Utica shale,” Matt Sheehy, president of the Rockies Categorical Pipeline, mentioned in a 2014 interview with North American Oil & Gas Pipelines. These massive reserves are positioned primarily in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.
Because of developments within the Marcellus and Utica shale, the significance of the Rockies Categorical as a protracted-haul option was diminished. However as a result of it was a relatively new line, Tallgrass Vitality and other house owners additionally saw a possibility. They sought to ship gasoline in two directions, thus making it doable to offer more natural gasoline to huge Midwestern markets.
With the pipeline shipping each west to east and east to west, natural gasoline clients could be afforded a alternative of provides from either the Rockies or from the Marcellus and Utica dry shale developments as well as from conventional Gulf Coast sources.
In 2013, Tallgrass Energy won the proper from the FERC to ship pure fuel from east to west in the Midwest with out violating agreements with western shippers.
Between 1999 and 2008, a minimum of seven large-capability header-laterals, which transported natural gasoline from native gathering systems to interconnections with major interstate pipelines, had been in-built Wyoming.
Altering fortunes within the oil and pure gas business have typically meant switching a pipeline’s objective.
The Pony Specific Pipeline, which now runs from Guernsey in jap Wyoming to Cushing, Okla. was transformed from crude oil to natural gas in 1996. However in 2014, its use modified once more when a Tallgrass Vitality offshoot, Tallgrass Growth LP, decided to transport oil in the pipeline at a time natural gasoline costs have been low while petroleum costs remained strong. The line transports crude oil from Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana. Tallgrass Energy acquired the Pony Categorical Pipeline from Kinder Morgan in 2012.
By 2014, there were at the least 9,235 miles of crude-oil and 24,726 miles of pure-gas pipelines in Wyoming, including both gathering and transmission traces. The Wyoming Pipeline Authority additionally reported at the least 1,896 miles of pipeline used to maneuver refined commodities comparable to diesel and gasoline, as well as 1,758 miles for natural gasoline liquids.
In addition to pipelines, railroads became increasingly essential as a technique of transporting oil and natural fuel. A Casper Star-Tribune evaluation discovered that whole Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail shipments of crude oil, gasoline and natural gasoline elevated to about 16,400 vehicles in 2013, up from roughly 10,200 in 2012. Shipments originating in the state had been up 70 %, whereas shipments from outside the state increased fifty six percent.
Editor’s Notice: We extend special due to the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources for support for this and other articles in an ongoing sequence on the historical past of Wyoming’s power and extraction companies.
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Casper Star-Tribune. “Shotgun Patrol of the Gas Pipeline,” March 21, 1965, 8-10.
Kramer, Bradley. “Rockies Categorical Pipeline Will get a Second Likelihood,” North American Oil & Fuel Pipelines, Feb. 25, 2014. Accessed Nov. 9, 2014 at http://napipelines.com/resurexion/.
Storrow, Benjamin. “Numbers skyrocket for rail shipment of oil in Wyoming,” Casper Star-Tribune, June 29, petroleum equipment services association of hong kong 2014. Accessed Dec. 6, 2014 at http://trib.com/enterprise/vitality/numbers-skyrocket-for-rail-shipments-of-oil-in-wyoming/article_d2b49099-c3ec-54c3-9083-7eb789b9e4a9.html.
Wheatley, Richard N. director of company communications/public affairs, Kinder Morgan, Inc. Emails communications with writer, Nov. Four-10, 2014.
Wind River Mountaineer. “Asks for Pipeline from Lander,” June 21, 1907, 1.
Wyoming Tribune. “Huge Undertaking,” Jan. 8, 1906, 5.
Anderson, Susan. “The Huge Change: Pipeline Turns from Pure gas to petroleum equipment services association of hong kong Oil in Wyoming,” Casper Star-Tribune, Feb. 7, 2014. Accessed Nov 12, 2014, at http://trib.com/enterprise/energy/the-large-switch-pipeline-turns-from-natural-gasoline-to-oil/article_f426d394-14e6-5440-affb-42858947750a.html.
Kern River Transmission Co. Background and historical past information. Accessed Nov. 11, 2014, at http://www.kernrivergas.com/InternetPortal/BackDesktop.aspx TabID=36&TabParentID=22.
Pees, Samuel, T. “Early Oil Pipelines, U.S.A,” Oil Historical past. Accessed Nov. 7, 2014, at http://www.petroleumhistory.org/OilHistory/pages/Pipelines/pipelines.html.
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__________. “The Oil Enterprise in Wyoming.” Accessed Nov. 10, 2014, at http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/oil-enterprise-wyoming.
Sprowl, Craig, coordinator of communications services, Spectra Power. “Texas Jap: Nonetheless Looking Good at sixty five.” Accessed Nov. 24, 2014, at http://www.spectraenergy.com/About-Us/Historical past/Texas-Japanese/
Tallgrass Power. “Rockies Express Pipeline (REX).” Accessed Nov. 12, 2014, at http://www.tallgrassenergy.com/Pipelines/REX/.
U.S. Vitality Info Service, Workplace of Oil and Gasoline. “Natural Gasoline Pipelines in the Central Region,” based mostly on data through 2007/2008, with chosen updates. Accessed Nov. 12, 2014, at http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_fuel/pure_gas/evaluation_publications/ngpipeline/central.html.
Winter, Maxwell W. “Natural Gasoline Trade had Begin in Basin Region,” Casper Tribune Herald, Feb. 19, 1928, part 2, web page 6.
Wyoming Pipeline Authority. “Crude Oil Pipelines in the Rockies: An Historic Overview,” June 2010. Accessed Dec. 8, 2014, at http://www.uwyo.edu/eori/_recordsdata/co2conference10/crude%20oil%20pipelines%20publish_safe.pdf.
For further research
Pure gas pipeline development video from Spectra Vitality and the Interstate Natural Gasoline Affiliation of America, http://www.youtube.com/watch v=_gW6EU0g6ys.
On the Casper College Western Historical past Heart, the photograph of the string group is from the Kukura-True Collection, the photo of the trencher is from the BP-Amoco Collection and the picture of the tractor and aspect growth are from the Kinder-Morgan Assortment. Used with permission and thanks.
The photo of men digging a trench by hand is from the Business and Oil Assortment on the Wyoming State Archives. Used with permission and thanks.
The map of the Express and Platte pipeline routes is from Spectra Energy. Used with permission and thanks.
The photo of pipe able to go in the ground west of Douglas is by Tom Rea.
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