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Gas Flames


Paula Howe

Senior High Division


"Gas" is called the flame of a thousand uses,it is one of nature's gifts to man. It is used in millions of homes forcooking, heating and refrigeration. It is also used in may ways in industry.

Natural gas was formed long ago by the combined actionof sunlight and earth movements. It is found stored in sand and rock layersfar underground. After natural gas is brought to the surface and cleaned,it is ready for use. Pipelines carry the gas to where it is needed.

Natural gas is also a source of raw materials that areused in making plastics, drugs, and hundreds of other products.

Some of the gasoline that we use in cars is taken fromnatural gas. Natural gas and raw materials found in the gas are used inmaking tires. Steel springs in cars are tempered with natural gas heat forstrength.

Natural gas supplies about one-third of all fuel energyproduced in the U.S. and one-sixth of that produced in North America.

Great Lakes Gas Transmission was first thought of in 1961.Trans-Canada Pipeline Limited needed more gas for their eastern marketsand their system did not have the capacity to deliver at that time.

After much study, it was decided it would be cheaper forthem to try to find an American Company as a partner and build a new pipelinesystem in the United States to deliver the gas they needed for their easternmarkets.

Construction of the new pipeline was held up in constructionby at least five years due to lawsuits in the U.S. There were many pipelinecompanies that wanted to be Trans-Canada's partner in this venture. Theythought that in the future this pipeline could be a new source of energyfor the people in the upper midwest and the different companies wanted thegas for their particular market areas. Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline was thesuccessful applicant before the Federal Power Commission and this was thebeginning of Great Lakes Gas Transmission.

Construction was started in 1967 on this new transmissionline. The first portion of Great Lakes Gas Plant that was completed andstarted to deliver gas was located near St. Clare, Michigan. This portionof line was approximately 120 miles long. It took gas from the Michigan-Wisconsinstorage field and delivered it into Canada at Sarnia. This portion of theline started to deliver gas in December of 1967.

Construction on the rest of the line started in the springof 1968. A lot of problems were encountered in the construction of the pipelineespecially in this area. It was a very wet fall in 1968. Due to all therain, the pipe that was laid in the ditch wanted to float to the top. Someof this was corrected by the use of what is called river weights. This isconcrete that is poured over the pipe to help put it back in the bottomof the ditch.

Construction on Station #1, called the St. Vincent Station,was started in the spring of 1968 and was operational in November, 1968.This particular entry point into the U.S. was chosen due to the close proximityof the Trans-Canada Pipeline to the Border.

The natural gas starts its trip to the U.S. from the Alberta,Saskatchewan border at a town called Burstall. The gas is then deliveredto Great Lakes at Emerson. Great Lakes receives about 800,000 million cubicfeet to a billion cubic feet of gas every 24 hours.

Some of this gas is sold in the U.S. It is delivered totowns through them on charts.

The pipeline companies themselves cannot sell gas to citiesor towns. They are only allowed to sell gas to its distribution companies.These companies lay gas mains in towns and sell it to residential and industrialusers alike. The pressure in these gas mains is usually reduced to about40 lbs. The meter at the home reduces it before it goes into the home.


Howe, Lenard, Interview, January 16, 1975


Howe, Lenard, Interview, January 16, 1975