Enbridge, Energy Transfer to convert Trunkline segment to crude service

Enbridge Inc. and Energy Transfer will jointly develop a project to move 420,000-660,000 b/d of crude oil by pipeline from Patoka, Ill., to St. James, La., and the eastern Gulf Coast refining market by converting certain segments of Trunkline Gas Co. LLC’s system to liquids service. Trunkline is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP and Energy Transfer Equity LP.

The converted 30-in. OD crude oil pipeline would enter service by 2015, pending US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of Trunkline’s July 2012 request to abandon certain designated segments of pipeline from natural gas transmission service. Crude slate and the level of subscriptions received in a pending open season will determine the pipeline’s capacity.

Once completed, the project will span more than 700 miles, including a new lateral from near Boyce, La., to St. James. The St. James hub will provide access to refineries in the eastern Gulf Coast, as well as dock access for water-borne shipments.

Enbridge and Energy Transfer would each own 50% of the joint venture. Enbridge’s participation in the venture is subject to a minimum level of commitments being obtained in the open season, and on completion of due diligence.

Crude oil reaches the Patoka hub from both western Canada production and from the Bakken play in North Dakota through a variety of existing pipelines. Enbridge’s Southern Access Extension pipeline will also deliver 300,000 b/d to Patoka starting in early 2015 (OGJ Online, Dec. 14, 2012).

Energy Transfer describes the eastern Gulf Coast as a highly attractive market for Canadian and Bakken crude, but not currently accessible by pipeline. The Trunkline conversion would create the first pipeline transportation option for moving crude oil to the eastern Gulf Coast from the US Midwest.

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

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