ExxonMobil Corp. and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP have agreed to combine some of their key U.S. onshore crude oil assets, mostly in Texas, to establish a logistics network that would offer more takeaway options for shippers.

In the newly created joint venture Permian Express Partners LLC, Sunoco Logistics as 85% partner and operator would expand its West Texas footprint and gain access to the Patoka, IL, oil hub. ExxonMobil would hold a 15% stake in the venture.

Initially, Sunoco Logistics is contributing Permian Express 1, Permian Express 2, Permian Longview and Louisiana Access pipelines. ExxonMobil is adding its Longview to Louisiana and Pegasus pipelines; Hawkins gathering system in East Texas; an idle pipeline in southern Oklahoma; and stakes in the Patoka oil terminal. Patoka is to service the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline LLC system being built in North Dakota for Bakken Shale oil (see Shale Daily, Nov. 9).

Sunoco Logistics has been gearing up its onshore business; it recently expanded its holdings in the Permian after striking a $760 million deal to acquire Vitol Group’s crude oil system in the Midland sub-basin (see Shale Daily, Sept. 27).

“This combination of certain strategic crude oil assets, together with our existing and recently acquired Midland Basin assets, greatly enhances our service capabilities for the Permian Basin, one of the most prolific shale areas with incredible growth opportunities,” Sunoco Logistics CEO Michael L. Hennigan said. “We expect to achieve significantly greater long-term accretion as domestic crude oil production grows over time.”

The partnership “establishes a stronger crude oil logistics network to meet market demand, provides additional takeaway opportunities for shippers and expands ExxonMobil’s options to supply its network of refineries,” the companies said. ExxonMobil and its affiliates plan to enter into a preferred provider agreement in conjunction with the partnership.