Sunday: Keystone XL Pipeline providing jobs for thousands
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 02, 2013
3/02/13 at 3:40 PM
PRAGUE — Love it or hate it, the Keystone XL Pipeline is making its way to the sea.
The march to the Gulf Coast, however, is not analogous to General Sherman rushing to Savannah but rather like Quentin Tarantino making one of his movies. The project is non-linear, full of parallel storylines and intensely debated in many circles.
The Keystone XL offers either the right kind of imported oil or a potentially thick and sour environmental disaster, depending on who’s doing the classifying. For the pipeliners actually doing the planning, trenching, lowering and welding, well, it’s all about the economic impact on them.
Each of the three spreads of Keystone’s southern leg from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, which began work late last year, is spending about $2 million a month on construction costs alone. The overall $12 billion project has helped revive a pipelining industry that was relatively dormant until only a few years ago.
“People say it’s supposed to keep thousands of people working. Well, it does,” said John Steward, an assistant construction manager for Keystone owner TransCanada Corp., who led the Tulsa World on a tour along portions of the Oklahoma route.
“We have kept people working through the winter, when usually it’s kind of slow. Some guys have been working with me for four years now. Their families depend on this work.”
Federal regulators approved the southern leg of the Keystone XL last summer. The work is running concurrently in three spreads, each employing about 850 people in every phase from digging earth to bending sections of pipe to backfilling a minimum four feet atop the finished joints.
Read more in Sunday's World.
Four pieces of heavy equipment work in concert to remove earth for the Keystone XL Pipeline as construction continues on a stretch northwest of Stroud. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World