Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Old Pumping Stations for Oil Pipelines

I have discussed how utilities such as phone and oil companies would use a railroad's right-of-way to bury their cables or pipes. I have rewritten this posting to put an overview here. I'll add specific pumping stations as I find photos of them and add a hot link from here.

John Carson commented on Jon's posting:
A little History for you and whomever is interested. This was a pumping station for the Standard Oil Co. oil pipeline running from Oklahoma / Texas to the Whiting Indiana Standard Oil Refinery. This pipeline was constructed in 1906, about the same time as the Santa Fe Railroad pushed from Ft. Madison to Chicago. There are /were matching pumping stations just like this one at Kernan IL, Wilbern IL, Dahinda IL. Ponemah IL. (In Warren County) and Ft, Madison. 
There are also surviving Oil Pipeline Pumping stations buildings at Ransom Il,. La Rose Il., Ormonde Il. and Ft. Madison. Ia. Those are a different style of buildings and layout, as it is a different pipeline. Those pumping stations were built by the Sinclair Oil Company in 1918 to also go to the Chicago area. "A half interest in the Sinclair Pipe Company was purchased in 1921, ( By Standard Oil Ind.) for $16.4 million in cash, improving transportation capacity. Sinclair's 2,900 miles of pipeline ran from north Texas to Chicago, encompassed almost 6,000 wells, and ran through oil-rich Wyoming."

Standard Oil Ind. needed more capacity so ".... in 1930, Standard acquired both the remaining 50 percent interest in the Sinclair Pipe Line Company and the Sinclair Crude Oil Purchasing Company for $72.5 million, giving it control over one of the country's largest pipeline systems and crude oil buying agencies. These subsidiaries now became the Stanolind Pipe Line Company and the Stanolind Crude Oil Purchasing Company..... "

So both of the Pipe Lines ended up owned Standard Oil of Indiana (Standard).Then consolidated under the Amoco Oil Co., and now BP. There are still BP pipelines that run along side the old AT&SF to Chicago. 
More History than you ever needed! Enjoy!


I just did a little internet searching when I took interest in the buildings at Ponemah, and found others like them. Then it was pointed out that they are spaced 30 to 40 miles apart. Ormonde is only 5 miles from Ponemah, and a different style of building. I went and talked to the FS plant manager at Ormonde, and he had a schematic of the plant when it was owned by Stanolind. (Which also match plants in Marcelline Mo. to a tee.) So if you look in google maps/ earth, Ft. Madison to Ponemah to Dahinda, to Wilburn, to Kernan all all spaced at approx 40 miles and all the same plant.
And Ft, Madison to Ormonde, to Laura, to LaRose, To Ransom all are approximately 40 miles apart and are all of the of the other style. There still is a BP pipeline pumping station in Laura, but modern. The older Standard Oil Pipeline had coal fed boilers supplying steam to stream driven pumps. The Sinclair pumping stations used gasoline / distillate engines.

Note that for some of these towns, these pumping stations were the only industry. You can tell they were a source of pride because they have not removed the tall smokestacks.


Update: Ryan-Dawn Chapman posted a Gulf facility down in Clay County near Edgewood.

1 comment:

  1. Just a few corrections on the notes concerning the posts on pumping stations along the ATSF right of way. The Santa Fe constructed its line from Kansas City to Ancona IL in 1887. The first pipeline along the right of way came later, but was there as early as 1906. This pipeline belonged to the Prairie Oil & Gas Co. ((PO&G). This company was acquired by Sinclair Oil circa 1930. Its pumping stations were tall, squarish, brown brick buildings with large smoke stacks. These were powered by coal delivered to the pumping stations by the Santa Fe Rwy. The pumping stations at Kernan, Wilbern and Dahinda are remaining examples of the PO&G/Sinclair pumping stations.
    Circa 1906-1912 a second pipeline was added along the ATSF right of way in Illinois. This line belonged to Stanolind (Standard Oil of Indiana). My grandfather helped dig this line and later was plant manager at the station in Ransom. These stations were different in appearance from PO&G/Sinclair ones: they were low, rectangular and had cement sides. They were powered by the gas/distillate. Examples of the Stanolind stations remain at Ransom, La Rose and Ponemah.
    The Ransom station closed circa 1948; I do not know if the others belonging to Stanolind closed about the same time. Also, the Sinclair station at Kernan closed circa 1953. Again, I do not know if other P&&G/Sinclair stations closed at this time.
    To make matters a bit confusing, Sinclair Oil was indeed purchased by Standard Oil (50% in 1921 and the remaining 50% circa 1930). So essentially, both were then owned by Standard Oil. This info comes from my grandfather, father, and from research for my book (shameless plug), The Illinois Division of the Santa Fe Railway (SFRH&MS, 2016). Cheers, James A. Brown

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