Enbridge, ETE to Provide Pipeline Access to Gulf Coast to Patoka, IL Hub
Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) and Energy Transfer announced today that they have entered into an agreement on the terms for the joint development of a project to provide crude oil pipeline access to the eastern Gulf Coast refinery market from the Patoka, Illinois hub. The project will involve the conversion from natural gas service to crude oil service of certain segments of pipeline that are currently in operation as part of the natural gas system of Trunkline Gas Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. This agreement is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of Trunkline's July 2012 request to abandon certain designated segments of pipeline from natural gas transmission service. The converted 30-inch diameter crude oil pipeline is expected to be in service by 2015. It will have capacity of up to 420,000 to 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) depending on crude slate and the level of subscriptions received in an open season to be conducted in the near future. Enbridge and Energy Transfer (NYSE: ETP and ETE) would each own 50% of the joint venture entity. 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 can reach the Patoka hub from both western Canada production and from the Bakken play in North Dakota through a variety of existing pipelines as well as through Enbridge's Southern Access Extension pipeline, which is already under development. The eastern Gulf Coast market is a highly attractive market for Canadian and Bakken crude, but is not currently accessible by pipeline. The Trunkline conversion would create the first pipeline transportation option for transportation of crude oil to the eastern Gulf Coast from the midwest U.S. Once completed, the project will span more than 700 miles, including a new lateral from central Louisiana, near the town of Boyce, to the refining market and the crude oil hub at St. James, Louisiana. The St. James hub will provide access to refineries in the eastern Gulf Coast, as well as dock access for water-borne shipments.
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