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Tesoro starts oil flow through reversed Panama pipeline

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Aug. 28 -- Tesoro Corp. announced shipment of the first barrels of oil through the reversed 81-mile Petroterminal de Panama Trans-Panamanian Pipeline from the Atlantic side of the isthmus to the Pacific. The reversal establishes a new conduit for the flow of oil from the Atlantic Basin to the Pacific and will enable Tesoro to source a broader range of crude oils to supply its Pacific Rim refining system, Tesoro said.

The first oil shipped through the pipeline was Castilla blend crude sourced from Colombia, which Tesoro will process at its refineries in California.

Very large crude carriers with 2 million bbl of capacity will be able to transport West African and other crudes to the port of Chiriqui Grande, Bocas del Toro, on the Caribbean for the journey across the isthmus of Panama. Crude will be piped to the port of Charco Azul on the Pacific Coast where it will be received by tankers and shipped to US West Coast refineries.

BP Products North America signed an agreement with PTP to ship oil to its US West Coast refineries through the reversed Trans-Panama Pipeline in May 2008 (OGJ Online, May 28, 2008).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at

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