HOUSTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Oil customers in the U.S. market will have links to most Texas refineries and ports once a string of new pipelines come online, Enterprise Products said Friday.
Midstream company Enterprise Products Partners announced it had the long-term agreements in place to support the development of a 416-mile pipeline to send crude oil and condensate, an ultra-light grade of oil found largely in U.S. shale deposits, from its terminal in Midland, Texas, to a storage facility in Sealy, west of Houston.
The new pipeline would be able to carry as much as 540,000 barrels per day, largely from the Permian shale basin in Texas, and be in service by 2017. From there, it would connect to the company's so-called ECHO terminal and associated pipeline infrastructure, expected online by July.
"Through ECHO, customers will have direct access to every refinery in Houston, Texas City, Beaumont and Port Arthur, as well as Enterprise's dock facilities," the company said in a statement.
Texas hosts about one-third of total U.S. crude oil reserves. An April report from Bentek, the forecasting unit of energy news agency Platts, finds oil production in the Permian basin in Texas has increased 50 percent in the last three years.
Crude oil production in the United States has increased more than the existing network of pipelines can handle, forcing some in the industry to turn to rail to take up the slack.
"The commitments we received for the Midland-to-Sealy pipeline reflect the long-term, positive outlook producers have for the Permian basin and the value provided by this logical expansion of our integrated energy value chain," Michael Creel, chief executive officer of Enterprise's general partner, said in a statement.