Fenstermaker Team Instrumental on Denbury’s Green Pipeline Project

C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, Inc. is providing Denbury Onshore, LLC with leading edge surveying and environmental services for its high profile Green Pipeline Project. The project will result in the installation of a 24-inch diameter carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline from the Mosaic Phosphates Company Faustina Plant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana to the Hasting Oil and Gas Field in Alvin, Texas. The Faustina plant, currently scheduled for completion in 2010, will convert petroleum coke into ammonia, a process which creates the byproduct CO2 in large quantities. Instead of releasing the CO2 into the atmosphere, Denbury’s 314 mile Green Pipeline will transport the CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery operations to produce oil that would otherwise remain below ground. CO2 injected into oil-bearing formations drives oil to wellbores as it expands underground and lowers trapped oil viscosity.  Denbury’s socially and environmentally responsible recycling of CO2 represents a sustainable greenhouse gas use that increases recovery of mature domestic petroleum reserves; hence the Green Pipeline Project.

Fenstermaker’s Vice President of Surveying & Mapping, John Fenstermaker, PLS says, “Our firm is thrilled to work with Denbury on such an important project. Denbury’s selection of Fenstermaker for the Green Pipeline Project was based, in part, on our ability to provide multi-disciplinary services on the project. This is the largest pipeline project in Fenstermaker history. Our team members include Surveyors, Survey Technicians, Environmental and Regulatory Specialists.”

Comprehensive survey efforts are underway and include boundary, centerline, topographic, hazard, and hydrographic surveys. Currently, Fenstermaker survey teams have surveyed over 80 miles in Louisiana which is 40% of the Louisiana portion and 26% of the total pipeline length. Survey teams are presently working in Galveston Bay and will also be performing hydrographic surveys of the rivers and bayous crossed by the Green Pipeline. Throughout the project, Fenstermaker will provide Denbury with right-of-way, alignment, and construction maps tailored by its Geographic Information Systems experts to specialized project data requirements.

Larry Broussard, Project Manager for Fenstermaker adds, “The Denbury Green Pipeline Project is a testament to Denbury’s progressive and creative business approach.  We are pleased to assist Denbury with this ecologically sound project.”

Fenstermaker’s Environmental team is also playing a critical role in the development of the Green Pipeline Project.  When the project began, the Environmental and Regulatory Team at Fenstermaker was tasked with identifying the scope of environmental and regulatory compliance work and evaluating the route selection while providing options, alternatives and insights into each potential pipeline route.  The Green Pipeline straddles two districts of the U.S. Department of Army, Corps of Engineers (New Orleans & Galveston Districts), nine Louisiana Parishes and five Texas Counties.  Upon selection of the preferred route, the team was then tasked with identifying jurisdictional boundaries and regulatory authority of each governmental entity associated with or adjacent to the pipeline route. 

Fenstermaker has provided Denbury with design phase advice to yield practical, yet economical, solutions to natural resources impact avoidance and minimization. Following a preliminary ground investigation, a table-top regulatory evaluation was prepared.  With this information, pre-application meetings were held with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies to reveal any non-resolvable resource conflicts or other public interest concerns and to obtain agency-specific data that will ultimately secure regulatory approvals.

Richie Leonhard, Senior Environmental Compliance Specialist for Fenstermaker’s says “To facilitate Denbury’s aggressive schedule in implementing the Green Pipeline Project, our regulatory compliance team has made every effort to secure the necessary data as the right-of-way component provides access and to regularly coordinate our team with the regulating authorities to avoid any delays or surprises.  The objective is to resolve any regulatory concerns prior to the formal permit application submittal to make the permitting process run smoothly.”

To date, Fenstermaker’s Environmental and Regulatory Team has completed 88 miles of the Louisiana segment of the preferred pipeline route entailing detailed wetlands, endangered species, wading bird nest colony, and cultural resource surveys. Other surveys, such as for oyster reefs, will be conducted as conditions dictate.

Leonhard concludes, “Fenstermaker is proud to play a principal roll with Denbury Onshore, LLC in designing, planning and implementing the Green Pipeline Project.  Fenstermaker continues to work diligently to meet Denbury’s goals and objectives, the company team players recognizing the economic and environmental benefits to the citizens of both Louisiana and Texas.”

Photo provided by Denbury.