Enterprise Products Partners LP said it plans to construct a crude oil storage facility and associated pipelines to provide refiners in the Houston area with access to growing production from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.

The partnership has bought a 150-acre tract in southeast Houston for the new Enterprise Crude Houston terminal.

Crude oil would be delivered to the facility through the partnership's Rancho Pipeline and two, 24-inch diameter pipelines Enterprise plans to construct. Located close to two large-diameter crude oil distribution pipelines, the Enterprise Crude Houston terminal would provide access to the major refiners in Texas City, TX, as well as other Texas installations in Pasadena/Deer Park, Baytown and along the Houston Ship Channel via the Seaway Pipeline. The new facility and related infrastructure are scheduled to begin service in mid-2012.

"This project significantly enhances the value of Enterprise's integrated midstream network in the Eagle Ford Shale by linking our recently announced 140-mile crude oil pipeline with the Houston-area refining complex, which features more than two million b/d of demand," said Enterprise COO Jim Teague. "By offering access to the largest concentration of refineries in the world and the storage and trading hub at Cushing, OK, Enterprise will be able provide Eagle Ford Shale producers with flexible options for maximizing the value of their production."

Initial storage capacity at the Crude Houston terminal will be dedicated to the operation of the new pipelines. However, the partnership envisions further expansion of the facility to accommodate production volumes from offshore and Canadian sources in addition to the Eagle Ford Shale.

Last month Enterprise struck 10-year agreements to provide midstream services for liquids-rich gas and crude oil production from the Eagle Ford with Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc., Reliance Eagleford Upstream Holding LP and Newpek LLC (see Shale Daily, Oct. 26).