Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This Week in Oil and Gas History

March 2, 1944

The first gasoline transported in the "Little Big Inch" pipeline arrives in New Jersey. The 1200 mile long pipeline was built in response to tankers being lost to German U Boats operating off the east coast. The "Little Big Inch" was a 20" refined products pipeline. It carried gasoline, heating oil, diesel and kerosene separated by solid rubber balls called "pigs". Its companion pipeline, the "Big Inch" was a 24" pipeline that carried crude oil and was completed soon after.

For comparison, the Trans Alaska Pipeline is only 790 miles long. The Keystone XL pipeline is 1200 miles long and 36" in diameter.

After the war, the two pipelines were sold as surplus government property. Texas Eastern Transmission Company was formed for the sole purpose of bidding on the pipelines and converting them to carry natural gas. Their winning bid was over $143,000,000. They operated the pipelines for the next 40 years. In the 90s there was a flurry of sales and reorganizations in the oil industry. The pipelines are now owned and operated by Spectra Energy.

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