Thursday, 18 December 2008

Knock on Wood – Eddie Floyd (1966), et al

The article below was brought to our attention by John H. Shepherd, faculty here at The Oxford Princeton Programme whose courses includes Overview of Physical Crude Oil Trading and Operations.

As Shep (how he is known around here) said of the recently discovered wood stave pipeline in Port Arthur, TX, "during my career, I spent a lot of time around terminals and pipelines, but have never seen a 'wooden' pipeline... I'm getting older, but not quite that old!"

Wooden Pipeline Discovered At PAR

Article by: Steve O'Donnell

The Wood Stave Line that is pictured in the photos below was installed in 1917 on Estimate 1636. Drawing Y-1745 depicts the route of this line, which was from the West Side Coke Stills (which were located generally where FCCU 1 & 2 were later built) along South "R" street between Ninth Avenue and First Avenue. The line was a condenser water overflow line from the WSCS to Alligator Bayou (which in those days was along the route of Flare Road in that area).
Wooden Pipeline
We are currently finalizing efforts to secure and restore a section of the line that the CEP (Crude Expansion Project) team would like to donate to the refinery museum. This wooden pipeline was in the way of a new pipe rack along "O" Street. Helping to make this artifact recovery was Retirees Glenn Cornwell, Jimmy Davis and Willie Lafleur, as well as New Construction's "Bo" Doyle. Conex crews were involved with site exploration and clearance for the CEP.

Here are some facts about wood stave pipe from US Patent 4897140:

Wood stave pipe is "composed of a plurality of longitudinally straight but transversely curved wood-staves, the longitudinal edges thereof being provided with a tongue and groove configuration and being glued together, while being mounted in a sidewise engagement in a cradle-like mounting means. The pipe-shaped bodies are later processed by milling, grinding or polishing internally and externally..."
Wooden Pipeline
Most likely the wood used in PAR's wood stave pipes was cypress. It is in very good condition, considering that it was probably cut in 1916. The craftsmanship in the line that we found is almost unbelievable. The joints are meticulous.

Photos: the author.

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