Paradise to Falcon
In the summer of 2011, Snelson, a pipeline construction company, mobilized their forces to Pinedale, Wyoming, to build 15 miles of 30″ pipeline between the Paradise and Falcon compressor stations.
Keith Maxwell and Trevor Thayer led the charge, taking their crews to 7,200 feet above sea level to build the pipeline and associated fabrication work for Enterprise Products Partners. Given that Pinedale has a resident population shy of 1,400 people, the 250 Snelson employees swelled the town a bit. While there wasn’t an open hotel room in town most of the summer, the citizens were good hosts to Snelson’s crews, who came from both coasts of the United States and everywhere in-between.
The project began in July and faced many challenges over its 3.5 month duration. 85 percent of the pipeline project was on Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and the BLM had up to four inspectors on its right of way (ROW), monitoring for compliance with federal laws.
The entire project ROW had extensive wildlife populations with a broad sampling of species including deer, antelope, moose, gophers, badgers, raptors and owls to name a few. With such a high concentration of animals, BLM imposed a number of wildlife restrictions which required re-sequencing some work and implementing new methods. In addition to regulatory restrictions, Snelson Companies’ crews faced challenges that included a wide range of temperatures from the low nineties to below zero, bringing periodic thunder, rain, hail and snow to the worksite.
Against the backdrop of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, Snelson achieved project completion ahead of schedule. The entire undertaking came to a smooth conclusion in late October as tie ins were made and gas began to flow through the fifteen miles of new 30″ pipeline laid. That line length included four conventional bores that totaled over 900 lineal feet. Snelson brought in Southeast Directional Drilling to help cross the New Fork River and adjacent wetlands with two horizontal directional drills that stretched nearly 3/4 of a mile.
As with any Snelson project, crews made safety a top priority in Pinedale as they worked to complete the pipeline. The men and women on the ground were “True Champions of Safety,” putting in over 125,000 worker hours with zero lost time injuries and zero recordable injuries. The icing on the cake came from the BLM, which happily reported the construction project was completed with no major environmental incursions. The agency commented it was “The best job they’d seen come through Pinedale.” It may have been an exaggeration, but we’ll take it.