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USA crude market analysis: the Diamond Pipeline

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to reports from Genscape, the recent announcement of Plains All American’s midcontinent crude pipeline may spark new interest about the fate, and possible reversal, of the 1.2 million bpd, underutilised, Louisiana-to-Illinois Capline pipeline.

The Diamond pipeline could also slow down the need for crude-by-rail unloadings at St. James, Louisiana.

The Diamond Pipeline will transport 200 000 bpd of sweet crude from Cushing, Oklahoma to Valero Energy’s Mephis refinery by 2016.

Currently, the Memphis refinery receives North Dakota Bakken crude via a complicated route, which includes crude-by-rail to St. James, Louisiana and the Capline pipeline.

Valero’s planned new route to Memphis would affect crude-by-rail arrivals at St. James.

In addition, the new pipeline gives Valero a less expensive option to bring crude to Memphis. Valero would likely pay abpproximately US$ 3/bbl to send product on the Diamond pipeline, versus about US$ 17/bbl for the rail transport plus Capline tariff charges.

The 20 in. diameter Diamond pipeline would provide capacity of up to 200 000 bpd of domestic sweet crude. The total cost for the project is estimated at US$ 900 million, and it is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Plains said it expects to have engineering plans finalised, permits and rights-of-way acquisition completed and construction started in late 2015.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: GenscapeNatural Gas Intel

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