By TINA DAVIS and LYNN DOAN
Enterprise Products and Enbridge said the 512-mile expansion
of its Seaway oil pipeline is mechanically complete, more
than doubling the systems capacity to move oil south
from the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate futures
in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Enterprise looped the existing Seaway line with a parallel
pipe, increasing capacity to the Houston area to 850,000 bpd,
the companies said in a joint statement.
will draw barrels from
the nations biggest oil-storage hub, where stockpiles
have fallen 48% this year to the lowest level in five years.
New pipelines and expansion
s, including the southern
leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL system, helped eliminate a
glut that built at Cushing as oil flooded in from Canada and
from shale plays such as North Dakotas Bakken
The new 30-inch Seaway Loop Pipeline connects to the Jones
Creek storage terminal near Freeport, Texas, the companies
said in the statement. Jones Creek is connected to
Enterprises ECHO crude storage facility in Houston by a
65-mile 36-inch line.
of a 100-mile
pipeline from ECHO to Beaumont and Port Arthur is expected to
be completed this month, and commissioning of both lines will
continue through the third quarter.
Enterprise, a Houston-based company that operates the Seaway
pipeline and co-owns it with Enbridge, reversed the system in
May 2012 and expanded its capacity to 400,000 bpd in January
As part of the most recent expansion
, Enterprise said storage
at the ECHO terminal would increase by 900,000 bbl to 6
Crude stockpiles at Cushing slid 1.36 million bbl, or 6.2%,
to 20.5 million in the week ended June 27, the lowest level
since Nov. 14, 2008, according to US Energy Information
Administration data. Supplies on the US Gulf Coast have
climbed 19% this year to 204.8 million bbl.