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Jilted Partner Sues Over Oil Pipeline

Energy Transfer Partners LP, the former partner with Enterprise Products Partners LP in a proposed oil pipeline from Cushing, OK, to Houston, is suing Enterprise and its new partner in a similar project, Enbridge Inc.

In August Enterprise said it was dropping plans for a 584-mile crude oil pipeline from Cushing it had proposed to develop with Energy Transfer, citing insufficient commercial interest to support the project (see Shale Daily, Aug. 23). Energy Transfer claims that Enterprise broke the terms of its joint venture (JV) agreement and sent out a news release announcing the dropping of the project without its consent.

The companies had agreed to form a JV to design and construct a pipeline to allow greater access to the U.S. Gulf Coast-area refining complex and add about 500,000 bbl of storage capacity at Enterprise's new Houston crude oil terminal (see Shale Daily, April 27).

Last week Enterprise and Enbridge announced a similar project. The Wrangler Pipeline would have initial capacity to transport up to 800,000 b/d of crude and accommodate the constrained medium to light crude oil currently stranded at Cushing and priced at a substantial discount to the oil imports that account for most of the supply being used by Gulf Coast refiners (see Shale Daily, Sept. 30).

Energy Transfer claims that Enterprise and Enbridge were in talks for their project before the Enterprise-Energy Transfer JV was terminated. Energy Transfer also alleges that Enbridge interfered with its existing agreement with Enterprise.

An Enbridge spokeswoman said the lawsuit is without merit. An Enterprise spokesman could not immediately provide a comment.

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