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Domestic Supply Prompts Southeast Texas Crude System Expansion

Enterprise Products Partners LP plans to "significantly" expand its crude oil storage and distribution infrastructure serving the southeast Texas refinery market, the partnership said Thursday. The move is in response to the displacement of imported waterborne crude by domestic supply from unconventional basins.

The expansion is to be completed in phases with completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2014. Upon completion, the high-capacity distribution system will be pipeline-connected to southeast Texas refineries having an aggregate capacity of 3.6 million b/d. In addition, Enterprise's Crude Oil Houston (ECHO) storage facility, which will be expanded to more than 6 million bbl of capacity, will have access to the partnership's marine terminal at Morgan's Point on the Houston Ship Channel.

Historically, these refineries have been primarily supplied by waterborne imports of crude oil. Now, crude oil from the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Midcontinent, Bakken Shale and from Canada is flowing into southeast Texas and displacing waterborne crude oil imports.

"Refiners in the southeast Texas market are responding to the dynamics and opportunities created by the rapidly changing source and grades of crude oil supplies," said Enterprise COO Jim Teague. "We have received strong interest from our customers to expedite the development of additional storage capacity and distribution capability to facilitate their consumption of the different grades of crude oil and to provide flow and quality assurance to their refineries."

The expansion includes an additional 4 million bbl of new crude oil storage capacity at Enterprise's ECHO and Bertron facilities and 55 miles of 24- and 36-inch diameter pipeline to directly connect ECHO with the major refineries in southeast Texas market.

"We believe ECHO will become the critical link between the new pipelines bringing supplies from the producing basins and the end-use refining market in southeast Texas as it is located at the crossroads of crude oil moving from north to south and from west to east," Teague said.

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