Phillips 66 is buying a 7.1 million bbl Texas Gulf Coast storage terminal near Beaumont from Chevron Group‘s Unocal. The terminal will be the largest in the company’s portfolio. “This acquisition supports our midstream growth strategy,” said Phillips 66 President Tim Taylor. “Given our expectations for increasing volumes of North American crude oil movements into the Gulf Coast region and growth in refined product exports, the Beaumont Terminal is well positioned to serve this growing market while providing significant expansion potential.” The terminal has deepwater access and multiple interconnections with major crude oil and refined product pipelines serving 3.6 million b/d of refining capacity. It also has 4.7 million bbl of crude storage capacity and 2.4 million bbl of refined product storage. There are two marine docks capable of handling Aframax tankers and one barge dock, as well as rail and truck loading and unloading facilities. Closing is expected during the third quarter; deal terms were not disclosed.

Hess Corp. is making a second $5 million contribution to the University of Wyoming (UW) to support its development of the High Bay Research Center, an energy and engineering research complex. Hess is now the largest corporate partner with UW ever, according to the university. The state university has met its goal of $15 million in contributions, leveraging an additional $8.7 million in state funds. Other UW corporate donors for the project are Arch Coal, Baker Hughes, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon, Shell and Ultra Petroleum. Earlier this year, Halliburton gave $2 million for the research complex and another $1 million to support specific research on unconventional reservoirs.

BridgeTex Pipeline Co. LLC, a partnership of Magellan Midstream Partners LP and Occidental Petroleum Corp., plans to begin the commissioning of the BridgeTex Pipeline during the third quarter. The pipeline will carry crude oil from the Permian Basin to the Houston Gulf Coast area. The company said it intends to begin limited commercial operations on the pipeline as part of the commissioning process. BridgeTex has begun to fill storage tankage at the origin of the system in Colorado City, TX, and operations to fill the pipeline are to begin in the near future. BridgeTex will have the capacity to transport up to 300,000 b/d of crude oil from Colorado City to the Houston Gulf Coast area. The project includes about 450 miles of newly-constructed pipeline from Colorado City to Houston and Texas City.

A new Quinnipiac University poll of 1,308 registered Pennsylvania voters shows that they support drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale 58-33%, primarily as a result of the economic benefits it has created in the state. Opposition to the industry was strongest in the liberal enclaves of Philadelphia, and the poll found that Democratic voters surveyed oppose drilling 48-41%. A recent executive order from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that allows non-surface leases for drilling under state parks and forests after a nearly four-year moratorium (see Shale Daily, May 23), however, is opposed 57-36%. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 points.

Shell Chemicals, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell plc, said it continues to move forward with a proposed ethane cracker facility in western Pennsylvania, but it once again stopped short of saying that it has finalized its plans or committed to the 300-acre site. According to dispatches from the news media at the American Chemistry Council‘s annual meeting in Colorado, Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals Graham van’t Hoff said the company has filed for an air quality permit with the state, signed 10 third-party construction contracts and has contracted ethane shipments for the facility. He added, however, that the construction bidding process has not started and a final decision to go forward with the facility has not been made, according to news reports. Shell first said in 2011 that it would build a cracker in western Pennsylvania (see Shale Daily, June 7, 2011), and later selected a site in Beaver County for the complex, where it has signed three amended purchase agreements to extend the time it has to buy the site (see Shale Daily, Dec. 26, 2013).