Koch Pipeline Co. LP Monday said it expects to have corporate approval by year-end to expand its South Texas Crude oil system to serve producers in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.

The proposed 16-inch diameter pipeline to connect Eagle Ford producers in the Karnes County area to Corpus Christi, TX, will have an initial capacity of 120,000 b/d with expansion capability of more than 200,000 b/d, Koch said.

“This is a cornerstone project that complements our recent efforts to better serve Eagle Ford producers,” said Kim Penner, president of Koch Pipeline. “We have already completed or are in the process of constructing several projects that will add more than 140,000 bbl of capacity by the end of 2011 — all aimed at moving more Texas crude to Corpus Christi.”

The project, in the heart of the northern Eagle Ford trend, is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2012. The expansion will include pump and truck receipt stations and tanks. A new station likely near Helena will connect into Koch Pipeline’s existing crude system in Pettus and Refugio, Koch said.

“Koch Pipeline’s expansion not only fits well with Flint Hills Resources’ strategy to run more domestic crude at our Corpus Christi refinery but also our plans to market crude from our Ingleside waterborne terminal,” said Brad Urban, Flint Hills senior vice president of supply. “What’s more, we are evaluating projects to enhance our refinery processing capability to handle even more volumes of Eagle Ford crude in the future.”

Koch Pipeline currently is building a line to expand delivery capability to Flint Hills Resources’ Ingleside waterborne terminal. In addition, Koch Pipeline leased 30,000 bbl of capacity from NuStar Logistics on a line from Pettus to Corpus Christi. In August, in conjunction with Arrowhead Pipeline LP, Koch Pipeline announced an agreement and joint tariff to add 50,000 b/d of crude and condensate capacity during 2011 from the western counties of the Eagle Ford trend.

Last week Enterprise Products Partners LP said it would construct a crude storage facility and pipelines to serve refiners in the Houston area with Eagle Ford crude (see Shale Daily, Nov. 12).