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“On schedule and significantly under budget”

The Fayetteville Express pipeline was created to transport up to 2 billion cubic feet (56 million cubic meters) per day of natural gas from Arkansas to Mississippi.

The client remarked that overall construction costs were 'orders of magnitude' less than budgeted, and that Mott MacDonald's comprehensive results were an important contributing factor.

Opportunity

In a September 2010 article called “All Aboard the Fayetteville Express,” Pipelines International wrote, “A major new gas pipeline being constructed….. will help supply the country’s long-term energy needs, and contribute to its ongoing independence and stability.”

“In the short term,” the article continued, “the pipeline is also acting as an economic stimulus in the region, creating thousands of local construction jobs throughout 2010.”

The Fayetteville Express, a 42-inch (1.1-meter) pipeline running about 185 miles (297 kilometers), was created to transport up to 2 billion cubic feet (56 million cubic meters) per day of natural gas from Conway County, Arkansas, to an interconnection with the Trunkline Gas Company in Panola County, Mississippi. The pipeline helps make natural gas from the Fayetteville Shale available to consumers in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest.

Solution

Throughout the application process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Mott MacDonald provided engineering/design support, coordinated with environmental consultants, and responded to FERC’s data requests. We participated in and provided design documentation for site visits and audits by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Mott MacDonald was responsible for the daily coordination of all field engineering, survey, environmental, cultural resources and right-of-way activities during the preliminary survey phase, which allowed for a “one pass” process to collect all required data. The use of an advanced GIS and data management system ensured comprehensive, real-time work flows.

Pipeline routing, workspace, access, construction yards and staging requirements were identified in the initial FERC filing phase, minimizing the need for variances. We provided comprehensive justifications to FERC and other stakeholders for increased amounts of proposed construction workspace, resulting in substantial savings in time and construction cost.

We applied our trenchless expertise to the design of nine crossings using HDD, including a crossing of the Mississippi River. The project included unique levee crossings adjacent to the Mississippi River, for which HDD was used inside the levees themselves.

We provided engineering, drafting, design and construction support for the entire mainline and related facilities, including the following:

  • Mainline valves
  • Launchers and receivers
  • Side taps
  • 19 meter stations (4 deliveries and 15 receipts)

Outcome

The pipeline went into service before the end of 2010, “on schedule and significantly under budget” according to the client. The client remarked that overall construction costs were “orders of magnitude” less than budgeted, and that Mott MacDonald’s comprehensive results were an important contributing factor.

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