June 3, 2013 — Work on a section of crude oil pipeline, running from Owensboro to Marathon Petroleum Company's refinery in Catlettsburg, has begun in Rowan County.
Brandon Daniels, communications manager for MPC, the company heading the pipeline project, said the construction is all part of “planned maintenance” on the pipeline.
Initial work on the project started in mid-April. Construction crews with Letourneau Corporations, a site development company based out of Freetown, Mass., were responsible for land clearance.
Letourneau crews have been housed off US 60 west of Morehead. Signs have warned drivers of trucks entering and leaving the roadway there. However, this portion of the project should be completed within a week, a company representative said.
The construction project is also visible when traveling south on KY 519, and along Dry Creek Road and McBrayer Road.
Price Gregory International, Inc., based out of Houston, Texas, and located in Mt. Sterling, is responsible for replacing the old pipeline with new, Daniels said.
“It is an example of our company-wide efforts to ensure the reliability and integrity of all our transportation and logistic assets,” Daniels said.
According to the company's website, Price Gregory is the leading provider of infrastructure services, with a focus on pipeline construction and related services.
Though the project is designed to improve the pipeline, some residents of Dry Creek Road have had to deal with negative side effects from the construction – mounds of dirt piled in their backyards.
Paul Gamble said work on his property started a couple of months ago. A clearing crew went through his backyard first, followed by a grating crew.
“It's been an inconvenience,” Gamble said. “But they've been really nice and good to work with.”
Gamble said Dry Creek residents affected by the construction did receive compensation for their easements.
The work taking place on the Rowan County section of the pipeline is part of the second phase of the project, Daniels said.
Once completed, about 17 miles of pipeline will have been replaced as a part of maintenance measures.
Daniels said construction activities should be completed by the end of the year.
Work also is under way in Montgomery and Bath counties.
Marathon Petroleum is the nation's fourth largest transportation fuels refiner; the largest in the Midwest. MPC owns, operates, leases or has ownership in 8,300 miles of pipeline.
The pipeline originally was built by Ashland Oil, Inc. in the early 1970s to carry crude oil from Owensboro across Kentucky to Ashland's refinery at Catlettsburg in Boyd County.
Marathon now owns the refinery and the pipeline.
Alli Collis can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 784-4116.