Kinder Morgan launches Cochin crude open season

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, June 2 -- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP launched an open season June 1 to solicit market interest in shipping crude on its Cochin multiproduct pipeline. The Bakken Crude Project would offer new service for light crude from the Bakken producing region in North Dakota to Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio. Given sufficient interest, Kinder Morgan says modifications would allow Bakken crude shipments of up to 30,000 b/d to begin as soon as Feb. 1, 2011, pending regulatory approval.

Should Cochin receive sufficient support for the Bakken Crude Project to go forward, it would modify the pipeline to enable crude oil shipments from North Dakota via new interconnections to existing third-party pipelines that deliver to refineries in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., Toledo, Ohio, and directly, without third-party pipeline interconnection, to a refinery in Detroit, Mich. The proposed origin point is in McHenry county, North Dakota, at or near the intersection of the Cochin Pipeline and Highway 2.

Cochin will also construct and operate a truck terminal at that site for receipt, offloading, and interim breakout storage of Bakken crude and customer-supplied buffer material for transportation on the Cochin pipeline. The terminal would include 150,000 bbl of crude tankage and 10,000 bbl of natural gasoline as buffer material. Additional infrastructure will include breakout tankage, pumps, dehydration units, buffer and interface handling facilities, custody transfer units, and drag-reducing agent injection skids.

Cochin will also need to construct pipeline laterals from its mainline to interconnection points with the Koch Wood River Pipeline in Freeborn County, Minn., the Sunoco Logistics Marysville Pipeline in Monroe County, Mich., and the Marathon Oil Refinery in Wayne County, Mich. Refineries initially served by the project would include Marathon Oil Minnesota Refinery, St. Paul, Minn.; Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend Refinery, St. Paul; Sunoco Toledo Refinery and BP-Husky Toledo Refinery, Toledo, Ohio; and Marathon Oil Detroit Refinery, Detroit.

Cochin currently offers transportation service for both propane and field-grade butane NGL, but transports only propane. The pipeline extends 1,900 miles between Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and Windsor, Ont., and includes 31 pump stations at 60-mile intervals and five US propane terminals as well as underground storage at both Fort Saskatchewan and Windsor.

The company says the combination of an average underutilization of 30,000 b/d and expanded Bakken shale crude production prompted the open season. The open season closes July 17.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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