TORRINGTON – Two new crude oil pipelines are planning to run through Goshen County, and one is set to begin construction before the end of this year, according to Ken Dockweiler of Bridger Pipeline.
The pipeline is a joint venture between Bridger and Phillips 66. Bridger will build and maintain the north portion of the pipeline, known as the Equality Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from North Dakota and Montana by way of a 20-inch pipeline that will originate in Hulett. The crude oil will travel through the Guernsey terminal, then into Phillips 66’s Liberty Pipeline, which will push the oil through the lower portion of Goshen County on its way to Cushing, Okla.
Dockweiler, who spoke to the Goshen County Board of Commissioners during its Oct. 1 meeting, said Bridger would like to get boots on the ground as soon as possible to begin building the Equality Pipeline.
“You guys are probably familiar with the Liberty pipeline P66 is building,” he said. “That will take the oil into Cushing. This will help support that project, as well. We’re fairly early into the process, but as with any time you want to spend capital, you want to get to work right away getting a return on that investment. We’re on a pretty fast timeline.”
Unlike with the recent ONEOK pipeline construction, Goshen County doesn’t stand to make a boon on sales tax. Whereas ONEOK shipped and unloaded all of its materials in Goshen County, Dockweiler said Bridger owns laydown yards in Lusk and Upton, where its pipe will be delivered.
Dockweiler said Bridger plans to start constructing the pipeline on the south end, meaning in Goshen County and Platte County.
“It looks like the most likely progression will be to start on the south end,” Dockweiler said. “That’s Platte County and you guys. We’ve got some hurdles to clear before we get there. Obviously, whatever you need from us, we want to get that taken care of. Secondly, we’ve got landowners we’ve got to finish taking care of. Several landowners in this area are banded together in a landowner’s group.”
The landowner group spoke to the GCC during its second meeting in September and expressed its willingness to work with Bridger and Phillips 66 to strike a deal beneficial to all involved parties – including the county.
While Bridger has the laydown yards in Lusk and Upton, the landowners group pledged to direct Phillips 66 to unload in Goshen County.
“It looks like this may be a corridor for pipelines,” Clark House, one of the group’s board members, said. “Maybe some of your money problems can be helped with these pipelines if we can get the industry to offload in Wyoming and collect taxes on it and distribute it through the counties it goes through.”
“The first pipeline, we were behind the eight-ball and didn’t get that done. The second pipeline, we were able to get that done with ONEOK. We’ve been in conversation with Phillips to try to get that done again this time.”
Dockweiler told the GCC that pipe for the project had already been ordered, and that it would arrive in Lusk by the end of the week.
“The pipe will be in Lusk as soon as tomorrow,” he said. “We want to get started building in fall or winter, and be in service next September.”
The Liberty Pipeline was announced in a press release from Phillips 66 in June. According to the press release, Phillips 66 and Bridger formed Liberty Pipeline LLC., in order to build the southern portion of the pipeline.
The project is expected to cost $1.6 billion.
“The Liberty Pipeline presents us with a great opportunity to serve producers in the growing Bakken and Rockies production areas,” said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. “The pipeline adds to our integrated infrastructure network that serves the key shale oil producing regions with connectivity to major Gulf Coast market centers. Our pipeline network has strategic alignment with our Central Corridor and Gulf Coast refineries, further enhancing value across our assets.”