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Seaway Eyes Pipeline Expansion

Seaway Crude Pipeline Co. LLC may add 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light crude capacity on its oil pipeline extending from Cushing, Okla., to the Texas Gulf Coast, the 50/50 joint venture owned by Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and Enbridge Inc. reported Wednesday.

The JV stated that it plans to hold an open season to gauge shipper support for another Seaway expansion, which would include other enhancements to segregate heavy and light crude shipments. Seaway noted that it will publicize the open season time frame and other details at a later date.

The proposed expansion would be the latest in a series of Seaway growth projects over the past decade, according to the JV’s website. In 2012, Enterprise and Enbridge reversed the pipeline’s flow from northbound to southbound and increased capacity the following year. Also, a project to build a parallel pipeline – boosting capacity to 850,000 bpd – concluded in 2014. The 500-mile (805-kilometer), 30-inch-diameter pipeline system extends from Cushing to Freeport, Texas, and includes a Texas City, Texas-based terminal and distribution system that serves Greater Houston refineries and extends to the Beaumont/Port Arthur area, the Seaway website states.

“The cost-efficient expansion would debottleneck and optimize the system principally through pump upgrades,” Seaway stated Wednesday. “Initial expansion capacity could be available by mid-2020, with the expansion fully in-service in 2022.”

Seaway, which is targeting $1.25 per barrel for light crude oil pipeline transportation from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, added the open season will determine the final capacity for committed and uncommitted service. The company also noted that further expansion is possible based on customer demand.