Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Oklahoma’s Cushing Oil Hub Illustrated

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

This illustration by Businessweek shows the pipeline pathways in and out of the crude oil storage hub at Cushing. Fields of tanks are fed by an 11-state pipeline network that stretches from North Dakota to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

It’s hard to wrap your head around the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Much of the pipeline infrastructure is underground, and what is visible is as expansive as it is unrevealing: Hulking, featureless cylinders in fenced-off fields. Thick steel obscures valuable oil storage and transport data, forcing traders to spy on the vast tankscape with satellites, sensors and infrared cameras.

It might be impossible to know exactly how much crude is in those tanks at any given moment. Even a good estimate could be worth millions.

But it’s a little easier to find out who can move the crude in and out of Cushing, and where it’s coming from. And the graphic gurus over at Businessesweek have assembled an elegant schematic of the major pathways to and from Cushing.

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  • John Brashear

    Let those of you who are anti Oil and Coal ….turn off your lights, sell your cars, stop mowing your lawns and go live in a cave, because thats where you’ll be if you destroy these industries with your incessant fear mongering and thoughts Green Energy will either support your lifestyle or even come close…..

  • Deb Ann

    Evidently you don’t live in Cushing, John. Just had a 4.5 magnitude quake today w over 6, so far, aftershocks, some over 3.5. So yes, this needs to stop. Just look at the map at the top of this page, it shows all the different pipelines under and around the CITY. The injection wells & fracking are wrecking Cushing. Much less putting every Man, Woman & Child in imminent danger. Just imagine, if possible, the catastrophe to them/us when, not if, they rupture or one or more tanks rupture & catches fire. Hell our own city managers won’t even tell us if or what the Emergency plan is when this happens. Now imagine it happening to YOUR town/city or one YOUR loved ones live in. PS: I am not anti oil or coal. Just anti injection wells & fracking around Cushing

    • Deb! Any chance you’d want to share your perspectives with me for an upcoming story? I’ll be up that way in the next few days, and I’d love to swing by and get your thoughts!

    • Gary

      Please don’t include fracking in you rant. Injection wells? Yes. Those have been proven to cause earthquakes, but fracking itself has not except in a very few localized incidents involving previously unknown fault lines near the surface. The earthquake problem isn’t from fracking, but from what the oil companies are allowed to do with their recovered fluids. Deep well injection could be ended today, by the stroke of a pen, and oil production would go right on unabated. But, if you ended fracking, our oil independence would end nearly overnight. It would be foolish to curtail or stop fracking over something it is not responsible for. End deep well injection right now. That can be done and should be done. In fact, there is no excuse for it not already having been done. There are other ways to get rid of blowback. But, leave fracking alone.

      • Deb Ann

        Sounds like which came first the fracking or the injection wells. Hmmm. The fracking. If you haven’t heard we/Cushing had a 5.0 quake practically right under us this past Sunday, 11/06. Our downtown are is still closed due to damage. The senior living facility down there was evacuated of @ 60 elderly some with injuries. It is damaged & may never be occupied again. My neighbor across the street lost their huge porch. Fell right off the house. We were blessed. But, when it hit it was like an explosion under the house, shaking wildly then a huge upheaval. I am surprised our home didn’t fall in. Now add in the hundreds of aftershocks we are getting, one just as I am typing this, of @ a 2, in the exact same spot as the original quake. (We’re getting pretty accurate at gauging these). PLUS the hundreds of tanks surrounding our town, miles of pipeline under & around our town. Any of which could rupture or explode with these quakes. I think, IMHO, I, and all of Cushing, have earned the right to rant @ what the hell ever we choose. So thanks Gary for your opinion. I just don’t agree, because we’re living thru it.

      • Jill Ann Campoy

        Fracking poisons everything. The water, the land and it is a gift that keeps on giving.
        Not only do they use millions of gallons of fresh water which they then poison with chemicals… They inject this water into the shale layer to extract the oil from the shale….When they do this the chemicals remain in the shale. There is always residual. Shale does have a porosity level. The end result is poisoned everything the aquaphors they took the water from and the layers that the fracked oil passed through to get to the surface….. They then have finally found a way to dispose/recycle the millions of gallons of previously fresh water they poisoned………They now use it to irrigate the crops …YOUR FOOD IS NOW POISONED…….All compliments of your local Fracking Oil Industry.
        GARY- HAVE YOU EVER SEEN FRACKING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL?? Whole towns of Sick People have shuttered their windows and moved away in an attempt to survive the illnesses caused by Fracking. Cancer, Respiratory and Skin diseases. These issues are never addressed in the main stream news. The OIL INDUSTRY previously was moderately quiet about their influence on our Government. But now with Trump in office they can shout it from rafters. “THE OIL INDUSTRY OWNS THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND CAN NOW MOVE FREELY WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS.”

  • Vern Bauerle

    I was curious about Cushing OK after reading in facebook that our Cousins felt the 5.0 Cushing quake. I was interested to see if any fracking was going on near Cushing. It was, and a major storage facility is there. Then I wanted to see where the most natural gas is produced in OK. I saw a map with what looked like county boundaries and various shades of blue in all, darker is more, lighter is less. But my question was where the most was produced, and you can’t tell by that map because not one town name or region is NAMED on the map. No way to find out. I guess they think we’ll just give up and say “no news is good news.” I’m waiting to hear what regulations will be eased, and whether it will be in the various businesses, or if regs will be eased for fracking. Developing……

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