By DAN MURTAUGH
HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Energy Transfer
Partners plans to convert a natural
gas pipeline to carry crude and condensate from the Eagle
Ford shale formation in South Texas to Corpus Christi on the
Trafigura Beheer BV will lease all the space on the 82 mile
long, 100,000 bpd pipeline, the companies said in a joint
statement. The line is expected to be operational in nine to 12
The pipeline will feed Trafiguras shipping complex at
the Port of Corpus Christi, Jeff Kopp, the companys
Houston-based director of oil for North America, said by
Trafigura, the worlds second-largest privately owned
non- ferrous and oil trading company, is building a second
deepwater dock at its complex at the Port of Corpus Christi,
which would allow the company to berth three medium-range
tankers and two barges at the same time.
Demand for waterborne Eagle Ford crude is expected to come
from refining centers in Houston,
Louisiana, the Canadian Atlantic Coast and the United States
East Coast, Kopp said. The United States restricts exports of
crude oil but generally allows licenses for shipments to
Canada. This pipeline, combined with our deep-water
terminal, enables Trafigura to offer a complete solution to
producers who seek to take Eagle Ford to the broader
market, Kopp said in a statement.
Oil production in the Eagle Ford play skyrocketed to more
than 664,000 bpd in August from about 11,000 in August 2010,
according to data from the Texas Railroad Commission.
The repurposing of the existing natural
gas pipeline makes this a very timely solution for the
growing supplies of crude oil and condensate in the area,
said Lee Hanse, executive vice president for business
development for Energy Transfer Partners.
The Port of Corpus Christi, to which much of the Eagle Ford
crude is already shipped by pipeline, moved out 367,535 bopd in
August, up 91 % from the same month in 2012.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the United States's largest
waterborne petroleum import terminal, received 139,953 bopd
from Texas in July, according to the state Natural Resources
Department. LOOP received its first tanker of domestic crude in
August 2012 after making modifications to one of its three
offshore buoys to allow receipts from smaller domestic vessels,
such as those carrying Eagle Ford crude.
Producers using directional drilling and hydraulic
fracturing have boosted the yield in shale formations such as
the Eagle Ford and the Bakken in North Dakota, leading a surge
in United States oil production. Output rose to 7.9 MMbpd the
week of October 18, the most since March 1989, Energy
Information Administration data show.