Osage County Residents Hear Plans For New Oil Pipeline

Tuesday, September 17th 2013, 10:49 pm
By: News On 6

A leg of a 600-mile crude oil pipeline will soon be cutting through the heart of Green Country. That was the subject of Tuesday night's meeting in Osage County.

Canadian company, Enbridge, Inc. says the Flanagan South pipeline project will answer increased demand from refineries.

"We're adding this line for additional capacity. The line is going to carry around 600,000 barrels per day," said spokesperson Lara Burhenn.

The pipeline will stretch from Illinois to Cushing. The massive construction project is already underway in other states, and soon, construction crews will be digging parts of Oklahoma and the Osage Nation.

The company expects the project to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, many of those for Osage Nation tribal members.

7/31/2013 Related Story: Future Pipeline Workers Training For Jobs Coming To Green Country

Burhenn said, "At peak of construction, we could have 600 to 700 employees working along this corridor."

And its something some local leaders are embracing.

"It's kind of who we are, you know? Oil has been a part of us for the last hundred years, it will continue to be a vast part of who we are," said Osage Nation Congressman Daniel Boone.

But members of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance group drove from Oklahoma City for the meeting Tuesday night, out of worry about the environmental impacts of a new pipeline.

"I'm just concerned with Enbridge's reputation, and the way that they're going to be treating landowners," said Eric Whelan.

Congressman Boone said he understands the risk, but also sees the demand for more energy.

"I love my gasoline powered vehicle, I love my diesel powered trucks and use it every day...it's something we have to have," Boone said.

Construction for the project in northeast Oklahoma is expected to start in the next couple of weeks. Enbridge hopes to be pushing crude oil down the pipeline this time next year.