New Oil Pipeline Brings Jobs to Osage Nation

Call it economic development, call it a major construction project, call it Flanagan South.

"Flanagan South is a 600 mile crude oil pipeline," said Lara Burhenn of Enbridge, the company behind the project, hosting a meet and greet at Pawhuska's Business Center.

"This is a great economic shot in the arm for all those towns that we're crossing through," she said.

Welcome news for Mary Fowler.

"This area is in desperate need of jobs," she said.

A message echoed by Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle

"What we wanted to do is we wanted to see what we would have to do to put some of our locals here to work," he said.

And over the past few months they've worked with the company to make that happen. The results?

"Approximately 110 Osages working on the pipeline," he said.

When completed the pipeline has a capacity of 600,000 barrels per day, which, like any pipeline, can raise environmental concerns.

"We take the environment and safety very seriously. We have a lot of processes in place to make sure that we protect the environment and also to make sure that we're operating a very safe pipeline not only during construction, but also during operation," said Burhenn.

Construction on the Oklahoma leg will begin later this month. Construction that pays pretty nicely.

"Each employee makes about $2,000 to $2,500 a week," said Chief Red Eagle.