National News

Pipeline Construction Picking Up In Central Texas

Posted July 3

— Burnet, Texas- Texas has approximately 439,771 miles of pipeline crisscrossing the state and that number is only getting bigger with each passing day. That number makes up about 1/6 of the total pipelines currently in operation across the entire United States today. While questions linger regarding pipeline safety, the method of transporting liquid goods such as petrochemicals, crude and other useful products to refiners and producers across the country remains the safest, most cost efficient and productive means of transporting these goods to downstream and end users that is known.

Among the newest of these pipelines to be making it's way through The Lone Star state is the Midland to Sealy Pipeline that will stretch 416 miles from a storage facility in West Texas to the  Houston area community of Sealy - about 50 miles west of downtown Houston. There the pipeline will tie into an existing pipeline known as the Rancho Line, where it will then tie into the ECHO Pipeline that ties into numerous other lines that allow even further access to every refinery on the Houston Ship Channel and even as far as Beaumont and Port Arthur.

As the pipeline makes it's way from Midland to Sealy, it will flow it's way across many parts of Central Texas, where construction is currently underway for the project.

The pipeline itself is a 24 inch pipeline that will have the capability of ferrying some 450,000 barrels of crude oil, and condensate each day to refiners on the Texas Gulf Coast. The pipeline will provide a safe and affordable means of transportation from the Permian Basin, as the area sees an ever increasing growth in the volume of crude oil, and condensate coming out of the energy rich region.

The owner and operator of the pipeline, Enterprise Products (EPD), is no stranger to operating pipeline systems and the company has taken great care to assure residents and businesses along the Midland to Sealy Pipeline route that they are well aware of hazards, inconveniences and other factors that come along with pipeline construction and operation. One way they are being mindful of these little issues is by using a directional technique that allows pipeline installation to go under roadways without having to remove the surface.

The technique is a safe technique that makes life around the construction sites more bearable for residents and commuters.

In recognizing that, Enterprise Products has taken care to inform, educate and alleviate the concerns of interested parties around their pipelines.The company maintain that they have taken great care to limit environmental and social impacts to the community.

Enterprise Products currently operates approximately 50,000 miles of pipeline.  5,002 miles of those assets are currently designated to onshore crude. Rick Rainey, Vice President of Public Relations for EDP, tells The Hill Country Tribune that they currently have between 250 to 300 contractors working in and around Burnet County right now. Their presence is bringing a positive and much needed  financial boost to the surrounding community through local accommodations and support for the installation.

Construction on the Midland-Odessa Pipeline is expected to be completed through Burnet County by August 2017, while next door in Williamson County, their end of construction should wrap up in December.

Rainey says that as for when product should begin flowing through the pipeline, that is expected sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017. After completion, residents and businesses will barely notice the pipeline with the exception of safety markers around the right of way, which residents should take careful note of.

But as for now, construction on the pipeline is well underway and motorists and residents should utilize extreme caution when in the area of installation and take careful note that what they see now is only temporary and the end result is a safe, effective and profitable end for residents of the area and the State as a whole as it struggles with a decrease in oil revenue over recent years.

With projects such as the Midland to Sealy  Pipeline being completed, the result could mean a more profitable future for all of Texas.


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