Work on a Canadian company’s new 600-mile oil pipeline that will run through Northeast Missouri officially began Wednesday after the necessary permit was received on Tuesday, according to Kevin O’Connor, a spokesman for Embridge’s Flannigan South Pipeline project.
Enbridge Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, intends to build a pipeline that will carry tar sands from Flanagan, Ill., about 100 miles southwest of Chicago, to the company’s terminal in Cushing, Okla. From there the company could move it through an existing pipeline to Gulf Coast refineries.
The pipeline, which will be capable of handling 585,000 barrels of oil per day, will cross 11 Missouri counties. It will run diagonally from northeast to the west-central part of the state.
After receiving a permit from the Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District on Monday, permits from the Rock Island and St. Louis districts arrived on Tuesday.
Still to be secured is a permit for work in the Tulsa, Okla., area.
Despite not having that final permit, work will proceed elsewhere.
“There are four different spreads and each spread has its own construction operation,” said O’Connor. “Four major operations will be going on across the whole 600 miles. Generally they will start on the north end in each of the four.”
Michels Pipeline is in charge of Spreads 1 and 2, which includes Northeast Missouri.
The project has been much anticipated because of the economic boost it is expected to bring to Missouri. At the July meeting of the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council, George Walley, the group’s executive director, noted in a memo that “for a period of three or four months there will be several hundred additional construction workers in (Marion) county.”
It had been anticipated that the project would begin last week.
“That slipped by a few days,” said O’Connor. “That’s more a reflection of the size and nature of the permits and amount of work that has to go into them. There was a lot of crossing of ‘T’s’ and dotting of ‘I’s’ by both Enbridge and the various agencies. There were a lot of environmental and legal reviews at the federal level to go through. We missed a couple of days there, but generally speaking we are right on schedule.”
Enbridge plans to place the pipeline in-service by next summer.
“We’re right on schedule. We’re still shooting for mid-2014. Nothing has really held it up,” said O’Connor.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)