North American oil production fuels US Enterprise expansion plan

02 May 2013 21:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Enterprise Products Partners is planning a large expansion of its crude oil storage and distribution infrastructure in the southeast Texas refinery market to handle the growing influx of North American production, the company announced on Thursday.

Enterprise is seeking to provide refiners with an integrated system that offers supply diversification, significant storage capacity and a high-capacity distribution system that will be connected via pipelines to southeast Texas refineries having an aggregate capacity of about 3.6m bbl/day, the US-based midstream energy services company said in a press release.

The company’s Crude Oil Houston (ECHO) storage facility will be expanded to more than 6m bbl of capacity and will have access to Enterprise’s marine terminal at Morgan’s Point on the Houston Ship Channel, the company said.

In total, the planned expansion will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014, Enterprise said. Financial terms of the expansion plan were not disclosed.

Southeast Texas refiners have been using more North American crude and less waterborne imports since the shale oil formations such as the Bakken in North Dakota have ramped up supplies. That switch directly correlates to the Enterprise’s planned expansion, said AJ Teague, the company’s chief operating officer.

 “We have received strong interest from our customers to expedite the development of additional storage capacity and distribution capability to facilitate [southeast Texas refiners’] consumption of the different grades of crude oil and to provide flow and quality assurance to their refineries,” Teague said.

“We believe ECHO will become the critical link between the new pipelines bringing supplies from the producing basins and the end use refining market in southeast Texas as it is located at the crossroads of crude oil moving from north to south and from west to east,” he said.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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