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US pipeline startups later this year will ease crude prices

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World Pipelines,

According to GlobalData, a leading research and consulting firm, US pipeline startups in Q3 2014 will ease crude prices and displace imports.

The Flanagan South and Seaway Twin Pipeline startups will begin transporting incremental volumes of heavy sour and light sweet crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries in the third quarter of 2014, putting downward pressure on US crude prices and displacing imports, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Carmine Rositano, GlobalData’s Managing Analyst covering Downstream Oil & Gas, states that Enbridge is near completion of its US$ 2.6 billion Flanagan South Pipeline. This project will connect to the company’s existing main Canadian export pipeline in Illinois and move approximately 600 000 bpd of Canadian and North Dakota crude oil from Illinois to Cushing, Oklahoma.

Rositano says: “The Flanagan South Pipeline is designed to increase throughput capacity to 800 000 bpd, with more pumping-power enhancements, transporting steadily rising volumes of both Canadian oilsands and US unconventional oil.

“In addition, Enbridge and Enterprise Product Partners are in a 50/50% joint venture building the Seaway Twin Oil Pipeline, which will move 400 000 bpd of crude oil from Cushing to Houston, where it can be shipped to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.”

According to GlobalData, the increase in heavy sour crude oil volumes from Canada, arriving via the new pipeline connection to the Gulf Coast, will reduce imports of heavy sour crude oil, primarily from Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as the Middle East.

Rositano adds: “The increase in crude volumes into the Gulf Coast will also put price pressure on US crude oil production, especially in offshore areas.

“Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to increase in 2015/2016, driven by a series of projects, including LLOG’s Delta House, ExxonMobil’s Julia, Shell’s Stones, and Anadarko’s Heidelberg, which combined will add over an estimated 100 000 bpd.”

Edited by Elizabeth Corner

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