Pipeline to shorten West Coast deliveries

BP Products North America signed an agreement with Petroterminal de Panama to ship oil to its US West Coast refineries through the Trans-Panama Pipeline.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 28 -- BP Products North America signed an agreement with Petroterminal de Panama SA (PTP) to ship oil to its US West Coast refineries through the Trans-Panama Pipeline (TPP).

The 81-mile TPP originally carried crude through Panama from the Pacific to the Atlantic. PTP will modernize the pipeline and reverse the flow, significantly reducing delivery times and transportation costs to the US West Coast. Previously, crude cargoes sailing from east to west took an additional 30 days to travel thousands of miles around Cape Horn at the tip of South America.

Upon completion of the project, very large crude carriers with 2 million bbl of capacity will be able to transport Angolan 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 for the journey to refineries on the US West Coast. Construction is expected to take about 2 years.

The change will greatly reduce transportation time, lowering logistic costs, and increase flexibility of supply to US West Coast refineries, said Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America.

Under the 7-year agreement, BP will acquire 5 million bbl of storage and commit to pipeline shipments of 65,000 b/d.

PTP has transported over 3 billion bbl of petroleum, mostly for BP.

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