1941 - Portland to Montreal Pipeline Planned – Will Transit Bethel


New line will speed shipment of crude oil from Portland to Montreal refineries


June 26, 1941


A 236 mile oil pipeline from Portland to Montreal should be completed by October 1st.  Work crew of 250 men has started already in Gorham. Cost of pipeline is estimated at $8 million.  Line will run from South Portland through Raymond and North Waterford passing through Bethel. It will be laid through Lancaster, N.H., and cross into Canada in Northern Vermont.

The line is being constructed now due to a shortage of oil tankers and much shipping time will be saved over sea transport north to the St. Lawrence and down the river to Montreal’s refineries.

Pumping stations will be located at North Waterford and Raymond; these will be operated by electricity. The pipeline will transit this area in West Bethel crossing the Flat Road and entering Mason at the Edmund Smith farm.

 This project is part of the national defense effort. It will be the first pipeline laid in the northeast. Standard Oil of New Jersey will be in charge of U.S. construction. Seamless steel pipe will be used. When operational, 50,000 barrels of crude will be received daily in Montreal.


The Canadian portion of the pipeline will be constructed by the Montreal Pipe Line Co., a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Construction of the American portion of the line will be handled by the Portland Pipe Line Company which has been organized by Standard Oil of New Jersey for the job.

The pipeline will use 32,700 tons of pipe and give employment to hundreds of men to finish it in what is expected to be record time. An aerial survey of the entire route from 17,000 feet has already saved days and weeks in its construction.

Authority for the line’s construction comes from the United States Lend Lease Act, where the U.S. is obligated to get crude oil to Canadian refineries. The pipeline is expected to save the 10-12 days it would take to transport the crude by ship. Construction will be giving a real economic boost to the area.

Source: Bethel Citizen articles of June 26, 1941 and July 3, 1941.

Photo of the map published in Citizen accompanying

July 3, 1941 article.

The Bethel Journals

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Bethel, Maine 04217

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