Petroleum Pipelines

70 years: The length of time Greensboro residents have hosted an interstate pipeline system
8,600 miles: The length of pipe supplying the urban Northeast and many Southern communities
$100 million: The amount Colonial spent in 
2012 on system wide measures to protect the environment.

1942: Plantation Pipeline completed from Louisiana to Greensboro, just in time to fuel military efforts after the United States entered World War II. The line later is extended to Roanoke, Va., and Washington, D.C.
1961: Eight oil companies join forces in a project initially called Suwannee Pipeline, which later is renamed the Colonial Pipeline, from Texas to Linden, N.J. Like Plantation, the new company is headquartered in Georgia.
1962: Colonial pays $385,000 for a 300-acre tract off Gallimore Dairy Road for a major pumping station and 50 massive fuel-storage tanks. The site is just south of Plantation’s existing tank-farm complex.
1968: Plantation more than doubles the size of its line between Collins, Miss., and Greensboro.
1977: Colonial announces plans to increase carrying capacity by 20 percent, including a 40-inch line from Atlanta to Greensboro, a $310 million project.
1987: Telephone-company workers digging a trench near Greensboro’s tank farm, served by the two pipelines, find large pool of leaked fuel from 10 pipeline customers. The spill takes years to “remediate.”
1988: Leak in Plantation Pipeline found in the Guilford Greene neighborhood, spilling 17,000 gallons of fuel near Lake Brandt. Spill is kept out of water supply; cleanup is still underway.
2000: Colonial moves its regional headquarters from Spartanburg, S.C., to new building in Greensboro on Gallimore Dairy Road.
2010: Large fire after lightning strikes a gasoline tank at Colonial facility on Gallimore Dairy Road. Firefighters use new equipment and techniques to quickly contain fire. No injuries and no fuel spill. Fire destroyed one tank but did not spread.
2013: Pump fails at Colonial’s tank farm facility on New Year’s Day, triggering gasoline spill of 5,500 gallons. Spill contained on site. Most is recovered but 1,000 gallons “lost to evaporation” and soil contamination.

Plantation Pipeline
Headquarters: Alpharetta, Ga.
Founded: 1940
Current owners: Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Exxon-Mobil
Route: Baton Rouge, La., to Washington, D.C., and Roanoke, Va.
Miles of pipe: 3,100
Size of pipe: Varying, up to 30 inches wide
Fuel capacity: 25 million gallons a day
Product shipped: Gasoline, diesel fuel, biodiesel fuel, jet fuel
Guilford County property value: About $16 million
City-county taxes: More than $200,000
Main local site: 6907 W. Market St.

Colonial Pipeline
Headquarters: Alpharetta, Ga.
Founded: 1962
Current owners: IFM (U.S.); Keats Pipeline Investors; Koch Capital Investments; Shell Pipeline Co.; Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (Canadian investment firm)
Route: Houston to New York City
Miles of pipe: 5,500
Size of pipe: Varying, up to 40 inches wide
Fuel capacity: 100 million gallons a day
Product shipped: Gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil and jet fuel
Guilford County property value: About $90 million
City-county taxes paid: More than $1.2 million
Main local site: 411 Gallimore Dairy Road
Greensboro has been home to an interstate pipeline system for more than 70 years. The Plantation Pipeline runs from Baton Rouge, La., to Washington and Roanoke, Va.
The Colonial Pipeline goes from Houston to the New York City area.
Together, the pipelines carry an average 125 million gallons per day of gasoline, heating oil, diesel and jet fuels.

Compiled by Taft Wireback, News & Record Staff Writer
Published in News & Record May 5, 2013

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