A first for the U.S. Gulf Coast region and Canadian crude producers, the successful completion of the 20-inch Pipeline Reversal Project gives shippers of western Canadian crude oil direct pipeline access to U.S. Gulf Coast refining markets. It also allows MPLCO to optimize a previously under-utilized pipeline to best advantage.
Mike Tudor, president of ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, said, "The 20-inch Pipeline Reversal Project is a win-win for the people of the Gulf Coast and Canada, the crude producers, refiners and ExxonMobil Pipeline. It is also an excellent example of our efforts to maximize the value of our pipeline and terminal assets. Canadian shippers have committed an average volume of 50,000 barrels per day for the next five years, and, in light of the high shipper interest, we anticipate that the pipeline will operate on average near its estimated capacity of 66,000 barrels per day in heavy crude service."
"The project team, from our Business Development group's work with Canadian producers to the engineering and operations activities in the field, did an exemplary job in implementing a project with a unique and valuable niche in the marketplace. The team worked over 240,000 hours, many in challenging winter conditions, without a recordable safety incident and we commend them for their utmost commitment to safety," he added.
The project reversed a 20-inch, 858-mile MPLCO crude oil pipeline that had historically run south-to-north from Nederland, Texas, to Patoka, Illinois. The 648-mile segment from Patoka to Corsicana, Texas, had been idle for several years, while the 210-mile segment from Corsicana to Nederland had been moving predominantly foreign crude north to markets in North Texas and Oklahoma.
The project has also enhanced synergies with Mustang Pipe Line Partners, a joint venture in which MPLCO has a 70% ownership share. Mustang operates a crude pipeline that extends from the Chicago area to Patoka, which allows access to other pipeline systems further north.