Williams Expands Pipeline Capacity in Tulsa Area

A unit of Williams announced plans for a $2.2 million pipeline expansion that will increase by 6 million barrels annually the company's capacity to ship refined petroleum products out of its petroleum terminal and pump station facilities in the Tulsa area. Williams expects the construction to be complete by May 2002.

The expansion is designed to relieve a bottleneck on the Williams system caused by growth in demand for gasoline, fuel oil and jet fuel particularly during the peak demand months of April to October.

"The expansion is an important step in Williams' strategy to expand our transportation, storage, and distribution systems for refined products originating from Oklahoma refineries and the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast," said Mike Mears, vice president of transportation and terminals for Williams. The project will involve the addition of new pumping capacity at Williams' west Tulsa petroleum products terminal facility. In addition, workers will bore under the Arkansas River near the Cimarron Turnpike to replace the existing 8-inch pipeline with a 12-inch pipeline. Williams will maintain the existing pump and motor at its Tulsa terminal as a backup for this critical transportation segment within the company's refined products pipeline system.

Anticipating the possibility of even more demand for throughput capacity, Williams has plans to evaluate a project to increase the pipeline capacity by another 18 million barrels annually.