Underwater pipeline inspection completed at Oologah Lake
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
Oologah Lake’s underwater oil pipeline inspection, located northeast of Goose Island, was completed Thursday, according to information provided by Enbridge Pipelines, LLC. No anomalies were found during the process.
The pipeline is owned by Enbridge and is part of the Ozark Pipeline, which transports light crude oil from Cushing to Wood River, Ill.
Divers performed the routine inspection of the pipeline and its protective coating following a barge launch on June 14. From the barge, workers provided a target area for the inspection.
The divers visually inspected the coating of a 40-foot section of the 8,000 foot-long submerged pipe below 30 feet of water. Afterwards, a non-destructive test was performed using ultrasonics to see if there was extra metal or cracks in the pipeline, said Dahlin.
Oil was shut off during the inspection in case any repairs needed to be made.
Natural Resource Group Public Affairs Consultant Liz Jeffries said the section was scheduled to be up and running by June 24, but because of the water’s very low visibility, the process took a little longer than expected.
Once inspection was complete, the oil was turned back on and the area was back filled to cover up the pipe, said Jeffries. Enbridge contacted local community leaders, elected officials and regulatory agencies before and after inspection was complete.
Oologah Lake Project Manager Allen Ryan said Enbridge Pipelines handled the inspection well.
“We support and appreciate the proactive inspection and view this as a preventative measure that is beneficial to the lake and visitors,” he said.
The oil pipeline was laid in 1949 and predates the impoundment of the lake.
“On a typical day, 160,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil are pumped through the 22-inch line,” said Dahlin. “Enbridge would like to avoid this kind of delicate procedure in the future. Plans for expansion or rerouting are being explored at this time.”
Enbridge has made an effort to avoid any unnecessary impacts to recreation visitors. The barge and equipment from the inspection will be out of the water and out of the publics way by July 4, said Jeffries.
All areas of Oologah Lake and boat ramps will be open for the holiday.
Fireworks at the lake will begin at 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, near the dam at Hawthorn Bluff, Overlook Park and Redbud Marina.