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Enterprise Products, Enbridge Announce Completion Of Seaway Pipeline Reversal

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(RTTNews.com) – Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB, ENB.TO) said Thursday that modifications to the Seaway crude oil pipeline allowing it to transport crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the U.S. Gulf Coast have been completed.

According to the companies, the pipeline is in the process of being commissioned, and the first flows of crude oil into the line are expected to begin this weekend.

The reversal of the 500-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline, which had been in northbound service since 1995, provides North American producers with the infrastructure needed to access more than 4 million barrels per day of Gulf Coast refinery demand.

The reversal will initially provide 150,000 BPD of capacity, which is expected to increase to more than 400,000 BPD in the first quarter 2013 with additional modifications and increased pumping capabilities.

Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC is a 50/50 joint venture owned by affiliates of Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc. In addition to the pipeline that transports crude oil from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, the Seaway system is comprised of a terminal and distribution network originating in Texas City.

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Enbridge to increase Seaway capacity

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Enbridge announced plans to expand the Seaway pipeline and its Flanagan South project

 

Josh Lewis ,
27 March 2012 04:45 GMT

Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge has announced plans to more than double the capacity of its Seaway oil pipeline following increased demand.

Enbridge and its partner Enterprise Products Partners will build a 512 mile, 30 inch diameter twin line that will run along the route of the Seaway pipeline from Freeport, Texas, to Cushing Oklahoma.

The addition will increase the capacity of the pipeline by 450,000 barrels per day to 850,000 bpd.

Enbridge said the expansion was supported by additional commitments received during the supplemental binding open commitment period, with terms ranging from five to 20 years.

Enbridge also announced it planned to proceed with the expansion of its Flanagan South project which would add incremental capacity for shippers seeking transportation from Flanagan, Illinois, to the US Gulf Coast.

The Flanagan South pipeline will also be used to transport some of the additional commitments for the Seaway pipeline from Flanagan to the Seaway System.

“Expansion of the Seaway pipeline, along with Enbridge’s Flanagan South project, will provide crude oil producers in the Bakken region and other emerging crude oil sources capacity to move secure, reliable supply to US Gulf Coast refineries, offsetting supplies of imported crude,” Enbridge chief executive, Pat Daniel, said in a statement.

Enbridge said the first phase of the reversal of the Seaway pipeline was nearing completion and would provide 150,000 bpd of southbound takeaway capacity from Cushing to the Gulf Coast by 1 June.

It added pump station additions and modifications, which are expected to be completed by the first quarter 2013, would increase capacity to 400,000 bpd, assuming a mix of light and heavy grades of crude.

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Seaway pipeline creates contango with oil glut

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Enbridge Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners LP haven’t just reversed the way benchmark oil flows in the U.S. They also changed the price relationship in the futures market by creating a temporary glut in the main delivery point for crude contracts.

The reversal of the 500-mile (805-kilometer) Seaway pipeline from the trading hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on the Gulf Coast is intended to clear a supply build-up that depressed prices of West Texas Intermediate oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The shift is attracting more oil to Cushing to meet demand once crude flows change direction. Inventories grew 6.4 percent to 32 million barrels in the past seven weeks, according to U.S. Energy Department data.

Increased stockpiles depressed crude for next-month delivery, making it less expensive than later futures so that investors have to pay more for each successive contract. January oil traded in contango, or at a discount to August crude, on Nov. 22 for the first time in a month, following the action by Enbridge and Enterprise six days earlier.

“We expect the WTI contango to increase in coming months as Cushing inventories rise in anticipation of the reversal,” David Greely, head of energy research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York, said Nov. 23 in a phone interview. “After the reversal of the Seaway, these barrels would move down to the U.S. Gulf Coast, drawing Cushing inventories back down and reducing the contango.”

Oil for January delivery gained 0.8 percent to $97.53 at 12:46 p.m. on the Nymex. That compares with $97.68 for the February contract, a premium of 15 cents, down from 20 cents on Nov. 23.

Backwardation, Contango

Over the past five years, oil for front-month delivery was in contango versus the contract for the next month 82 percent of the time. The front month was in backwardation, or more expensive than the next month, on 18 percent of trading days.

U.S. crude rose relative to Brent for January settlement last week on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange as Brent prices dropped $1.38, or 1.3 percent, to $106.40 a barrel on Nov 25. Between 2001 and 2010, WTI traded at a premium of 87 cents a barrel to Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With an influx of oil at Cushing, that flipped to a record discount of $27.88 on Oct. 14. The gap has since narrowed 63 percent to $10.38 today.

Refiners on the Gulf Coast have been forced to pay higher prices for imported oil because of a lack of transport from Cushing. Oil used on the Gulf has been linked to Brent, which is the benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil.

The Seaway line will operate with a capacity of 150,000 barrels a day by the second quarter of 2012, according to Enterprise and Enbridge. Pump modifications expected by early 2013 will boost that to 400,000 barrels.

Pipeline Capacity

Currently, there is 1.64 million barrels a day of pipeline capacity into Cushing and only 995,000 out, according to Martin Tallett, founder of EnSys Energy & Systems Inc., a Lexington, Massachusetts, consulting company.

Additional lines may be needed to handle increased production. Canadian output will jump 37 percent to 2.16 million barrels a day in 2015 from 1.58 million this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said in June.

North Dakota, which produces oil from the Bakken field, almost doubled output in the past two years and pumped a record 464,129 barrels a day in September, according to the state government. Production may grow to between 1.5 million and 2 million barrels a day within five years, Katherine Spector, a New York-based analyst with CIBC World Markets Corp., said Nov. 22 at The Energy Forum in New York.

Canceled Projects

The Seaway reversal is replacing Enbridge and Enterprise’s Wrangler pipeline proposal, which would have carried as much as 800,000 barrels a day from Cushing to the coast by mid-2013, Rick Rainey, a company spokesman, said Nov. 16.

Enterprise and Energy Transfer Partners LP said Aug. 19 they wouldn’t move forward with plans to construct a separate 584-mile line from Cushing to Houston.

The State Department announced Nov. 10 it was delaying a decision on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to study an alternative route for the $7 billion project that avoids environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska.

Further study “could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013,” said the department, which has jurisdiction over the line because it crosses an international border.

“Because of all the euphoria around Seaway, we’ve lost a lot of other news in the background,” said Amrita Sen, a London-based analyst with Barclays Plc. “A lot of key pipelines have actually been canceled.”

Lower Prices

For now, January futures on the Nymex are cheaper than every contract through June, when prices turn lower than previous months. Oil for delivery in December 2012 trades at $97.58 a barrel, falling to $93.50 the following December and $91.08 in the same month of 2014.

The months closest to delivery will remain in contango until next year because of ample stockpiles at Cushing and a slowing economy, Harry Tchilinguirian, the London-based, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA, said Nov. 25 in a phone interview.

Oil for sale at a later date is lower, reflecting the concern of hedge funds about bullish bets when there is “uncertainty in the global economic outlook,” he said.

by Bloomberg

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Oil in New York Surges Above $100 on Reversal of Seaway Pipeline

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By Mark Shenk

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Oil in New York climbed above $100 a barrel to a five-month high as Enbridge Inc. said it would reverse the direction of the Seaway pipeline, opening an outlet for crude from the central U.S. and Canada.

Futures rose much as 2.7 percent after Enbridge agreed to acquire ConocoPhillips’s share of the pipeline that runs between Cushing, Oklahoma, and the Gulf Coast and announced the reversal. The change may alleviate a bottleneck at the Cushing storage hub that had lowered the price of West Texas Intermediate, the grade traded in New York, versus other oils.

“In the short term, this will definitely clear some of the crude out of Oklahoma,” said Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Corp. in New York. “This may not be enough to eliminate the glut in the Midwest because output is growing by hundreds of thousands of barrels a year. We still need additional transportation capacity.”

Crude oil for December delivery rose $2.08, or 2.1 percent, to $101.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures reached $102.06, the highest level since June 10. The contract traded at $99.70 before the Seaway announcement.

Brent oil for January settlement dropped $1.39, or 1.2 percent, to $110.79 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. The European contract’s premium to West Texas crude narrowed to as little as $8.32 a barrel, the smallest spread since March 9. The spread surged to a record high of $27.88 on Oct. 14.

Initial Pipeline Capacity

The pipeline will operate with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels a day by the second quarter of 2012, according to a statement from Enbridge. Enterprise Products Partners LP also owns a share of the link.

The pipeline will enable more oil from Canada and North Dakota to reach the Gulf Coast, home to about half of U.S. refining capacity.

The reversal “will definitely reduce the amount of rail and barge that is needed,” said Hussein Allidina, the head of commodity research at Morgan Stanley in New York. “You are still going to evacuate some crude via some of these higher costs transportation means” as Canadian and U.S. output rises.

An Energy Department report today may show U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell 1.2 million barrels last week, according to the median of 13 analyst responses in a Bloomberg News survey. Supplies increased 1.3 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday.

The industry-funded API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey.

–With assistance from Aaron Clark in New York. Editors: Richard Stubbe, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

Enbridge, Enterprise Products To Reverse Seaway Crude Oil Pipeline

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(RTTNews) – Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO: News ,ENB: News ) and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD: News ) agreed to reverse the direction of crude oil flows on the Seaway pipeline to enable it to transport oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Pending regulatory approval, the line could operate in reversed service with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day by second quarter 2012.

Patrick Daniel, President and Chief Executive, Enbridge Inc., said, “A Seaway reversal will provide capacity to move secure, reliable supply to Texas Gulf Coast refineries, offsetting supplies of imported crude.”

Meanwhile, Michael Creel, President and Chief Executive of Enterprise’s general partner, noted, “We believe that reversing the direction of crude oil movement on Seaway and the construction of additional infrastructure will accelerate access to Gulf Coast markets, reduce transportation costs, improve both producer and refiner economics and hasten the development of North America’s crude oil reserves.”

Following pump station additions and modifications, anticipated to be completed by early 2013, the capacity of the reversed Seaway Pipeline would be up to 400,000 barrels per day in mixed service, the company noted. Enbridge and Enterprise anticipate that the reversed Seaway pipeline would be fully contracted. After reversing the direction that crude oil flows on the 500-mile, 30-inch diameter, long-haul pipeline, Seaway would deliver crude from Cushing into the Houston-area market by utilizing existing affiliate and third-party pipelines as well as its Texas City local pipeline system.

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