Chicago Project & Compressor Additions

Northern Border Pipeline Company

The Chicago Project


  • Project Management
  • Preliminary Engineering & Detailed Design
  • Material Procurement
  • Construction Management
  • Commissioning & Start up


  • Six new 35,000 HP gas turbine stations – Chicago Project
  • One new 12,000 HP and one new 6,500 HP electric motor drive stations – Chicago Project
  • Five station retro-fits with new 35,000 HP gas turbine compressor packages and dry gas seal conversions at two existing 20,000 HP stations – Chicago Project
  • Five grass-roots compressor stations utilizing 20,000 HP Cooper/Rolls Royce turbines to develop a total operating horsepower of 100,000 – Northern Border Project

Northern Border Pipeline Company's 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline system transports gas from Canada to supply U.S. markets. The original pipeline system begins at the Canadian border in Montana and terminates in Iowa. The Chicago Project, initiated in 1995, expanded the system's capacity and extended its reach to the Henry Hub near Chicago, Illinois. The Henry Hub is a major gas distribution center providing access to the U.S. Midwest and East coast markets. The Chicago Project added 147 miles of pipeline loops and 243 miles of new pipeline, along with 290,000 horsepower of compression additions at 15 station sites. The multi-billion dollar project touched upon many environmentally sensitive areas including Native American tribal land, cultural resource areas and endangered species habitats. Gulf provided project management, engineering, design, procurement and construction management services for the fifteen compressor stations, which involved both new stations and retrofits at existing stations.

Gulf was very familiar with the Northern Border Pipeline system due to their extensive involvement in 1990-1991, designing, procuring and commissioning five grassroots compressor stations to develop a total operating horsepower of 100,000.Stretching across the northern U.S. with compressor station sites in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, the expansion of this pipeline added 500 MMCFD capacity to the system. Gulf's knowledge of the system and praiseworthy performance led them to once again performing work for Northern Border Pipeline Company.

Gulf's work began with the preparation of the engineering and regulatory documentation necessary to obtain the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) approval to construct the project. With the approval secured, Gulf's project team grew significantly to undertake the detail engineering of the compressor stations. Gulf introduced the initial version of its computerized materials management system to support the procurement and delivery of equipment and materials for The Chicago Project compressor stations. The use of the new system proved a pronounced success with its capabilities for automated material take-off and document generation requisitions, purchase orders, invoices and status reports to identify, manage and control the thousands of parts necessary to build the stations, and in particular, for expediting and coordinating delivery to the fifteen station sites located across five states.

Gulf's construction management services included construction contractor qualification, bid package preparation and the evaluation of construction bids with recommendations to Northern Border as to which contractors should be engaged. Gulf prepared construction management plans, inspection plans and procedures and a quality assurance plan to guide the Company's construction management specialists deployed across the numerous job sites. These plans and procedures were instrumental in ensuring that the gathering, reporting and archiving of construction documentation was consistent and compliant with the stipulations of Northern Border and the FERC. The quality assurance program was designed in accordance with Gulf's certified ISO 9001 procedures, and regular compliance audits were conducted during all phases of the project's implementation. The Company developed operating and maintenance manuals for the expanded system and provided technical and operational assistance during the commissioning and start-up of the completed project.


Gulf Interstate Engineering
16010 Barkers Point Lane | Suite 600
Houston, Texas USA 77079-9000


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