U.S. Department of Energy
Freeport, TX, U.S.

Freeport to Texas City Pipeline

​The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Fluor the overall project services for a crude oil pipeline that follows the Texas coast from Freeport to Texas City, Texas.

The 40-inch pipeline extends the 46 miles from the Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) site near Freeport to an ARCO oil refinery in the Texas City. Fluor's overall services for the pipeline project included detail design, requisitions for long-lead materials and construction. Fluor researched and advised the DOE on route selection, right-of-way and property acquisition for the 46-mile pipeline. The pipeline will pump about one million barrels a day.

The crude oil is currently stored in the caverns leached out of the Bryan Mound salt domes. This storage is part of the strategic petroleum reserves, which are designed to distribute oil in the event of a national oil crisis. Once the pipeline is completed and oil flows to Texas City, it can be distributed to the Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries via the existing commercial pipeline distribution systems.

Client's Challenge

​The total capacity of stored crude oil at Bryan Mound is projected to be 185.6 million barrels. The pipeline route is 75 percent within the 100-year floodplain and faces some construction obstacles, including low areas of quicksand. 

Scheduling was a key consideration because of the permitting and right-of-way acquisition of 296 tracts. Pipeline route selection, property acquisition and permitting were completed on the original schedule. The construction was planned around the rainy Gulf Coast summer.

Fluor's Solution

​Fluor was the architect-engineering contractor for the DOE, providing design, procurement support and construction services. Design support included 13 drilled crossings, 137 foreign pipeline crossings, 17 highway/road crossings, nine railroad crossings and construction of a large concrete-lined drainage channel. Fluor handled most of the environmental and design permitting activities including a cultural resources survey. This survey found four archaeological sites. Three of the sites were avoided by directional drilling. The other site was fenced, and the pipeline routed around it.

A complete quality assurance program covered the design, some government-purchased equipment and construction.  Scheduling was a key consideration on this project, and it was facilitated by right-of-way acquisition work that accelerated the effort. To control the schedule, Fluor developed an integrated computerized cost and schedule system.


​The DOE pipeline was complete in 1987 and serves as a critical supply interface for the SPR and the Gulf/Midwest crude distribution network.​