Oneok hosts meetings in effort to reach out to community

By Sarah Pridgeon

The courthouse basement hummed with voices on Tuesday evening as interested citizens took the opportunity to find out more about plans to install a second natural gas liquids pipeline through Crook County. In this area, the Elk Creek Pipeline will mirror the route of the 900-mile Bakken line that Oneok Pipelines installed in 2012.

While the Bakken line terminated in Colorado, the Elk Creek line will continue on to Kansas, where it will terminate at Oneok’s Mid-Continent NGL facilities.

Construction is expected to begin at the Kansas end and will likely launch by this fall, says Stephanie Higgins, Project Communications Manager.

(Sarah Pridgeon photo) Jeanne Whalen signs in at the Oneok public outreach meeting on Wednesday as she prepares to join her fellow county residents in finding out more about the Elk Creek pipeline.
(Sarah Pridgeon photo) Jeanne Whalen signs in at the Oneok public outreach meeting on Wednesday as she prepares to join her fellow county residents in finding out more about the Elk Creek pipeline.

A number of representatives made themselves available at the outreach meeting on Tuesday, which followed a similar gathering in Weston County the evening before. Oneok realized during the Bakken project how important public outreach is to the local community, Higgins says, and welcomes communication from anyone with questions or concerns.

Reclamation will also be a strong focus during the project, Higgins adds. According to the company’s literature, restoration plans will begin during the early stages of construction to preserve natural resources, capture the pre-construction conditions and identify the need for soil amendments.

Oneok will perform topsoil segregation before construction, stripping the right-of-way. Following installation, decompaction will take place across the right-of-way and the topsoil returned, after which the seedbed will be prepared and seed mixes developed to the location’s specifications.

The Elk Creek Pipeline will stretch approximately 308 miles across Wyoming, crossing five counties. As Oneok is working largely with the same landowners to secure right-of-way access, Higgins says, the process has been moving relatively smoothly.

A hotline for the project has been set up at 855-217-7918. Information can also be found at oneok.com/elkcreekpipeline.