The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 17, 2012

Landowners, company clash on pipeline plan

ENID, Okla. — A growing number of Major County landowners are opposing a planned crude oil pipeline they say threatens their water source, which also is the primary water source for Enid.

Glass Mountain Pipeline LLC, a joint venture of Tulsa-based SemGroup Corporation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Gavilon LLC, in May announced plans to construct a 210-mile crude oil pipeline to carry crude from Arnett and Alva collection sites to Cushing.

The Arnett and Alva spurs, each planned to carry up to 90,000 barrels of crude per day, join near Cleo Springs in Major County, atop the Cimarron River Aquifer and near the city of Enid’s largest field of water wells.

From Cleo Springs, the pipeline continues with a capacity of 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Cushing. The project also calls for 440,000 barrels of intermediate storage.

Land acquisition contractors for the pipeline company currently are negotiating contracts and crossing rights with landowners in the Cleo Springs area. Some landowners already have signed contracts, while others have pledged to fight the pipeline route in court.

Steve Regier was one of the first landowners in Major County contacted by SemGroup. Regier is trustee for his mother’s land near Cleo Springs, land on which SemGroup plans to merge the two smaller pipelines and construct a large storage facility.

“We were the first ones they contacted around here to do this, because it’s a key part of their deal,” Regier said.

He said he and his mother didn’t want to sell the land, but didn’t feel they had any choice.

“She wasn’t looking to sell, but they were telling us, ‘Sell to us or we’re going to condemn your land and take you to court,’” Regier said. “She’s had to work her entire life to pay for that land, and now she has to sell it. It really bothers her a company can come in and force you to sell your land.”

They signed a contract to sell 34 acres of land — land on which Regier said SemGroup plans to build a storage and pumping facility, including two 158,000 barrel tanks.

Regier said he’s not happy about having to sell the land, but he’s more worried about the water.

“The real issue here is the water,” Regier said. “When you have a pipeline, it’s not a question of if it’s going to leak, it’s when it’s going to leak. Thirty years from now, if they have a leak in that thing, who’s going to clean it up? That’s what we’re worried about.”

Regier said far more people should be concerned about the pipeline’s placement, because it crosses a water source that feeds not only rural landowners and towns in Major County, but also Hennessey, Kingfisher and Enid.

“Our biggest concern is the pipeline is coming right through the heart of the best of the Cimarron Terrace Aquifer,” Regier said.

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