EPP, Enbridge begin Seaway, ECHO oil pipeline open seasons

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) and Enbridge Inc. are holding concurrent binding open seasons to solicit capacity commitments from shippers for an expansion of the Seaway crude oil pipeline and a new pipeline that will be built from EPP’s Houston-area ECHO terminal to Port Arthur, Tex. EPP and Enbridge recently announced plans to reverse flow of the 500-mile, 30-in. OD Seaway pipeline, to transport crude oil from Cushing, Okla., to the US Gulf Coast (OGJ Online, Nov. 18, 2011).

An initial 150,000 b/d on the reversed system could be available by second-quarter 2012, EPP said. Pump station additions and modifications, expected by first-quarter 2013, would increase capacity to 400,000 b/d, assuming a mix of light and heavy grades of crude oil. Looping the Seaway pipeline would create capacity beyond the 400,000 b/d if warranted by open-season results.

EPP and Enbridge each own a 50% interest in the Seaway pipeline system, with EPP serving as operator.

The new 85-mile pipeline from EPP’s ECHO crude oil terminal southeast of Houston to the Port Arthur-Beaumont refining center will give shippers access to the heavy refining capabilities. EPP expects the line to enter in early 2014.

The open seasons began Jan. 4 and continue until midday on Feb. 10.

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