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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD - Analyst Report) has finally completed the first phase of its Eagle Ford Crude Oil pipeline. The transport system has started accepting crude oil deliveries from the prolific Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas for the planned transmission to the Gulf Coast refiners.
The 24-inch diameter pipeline that can transport 350,000 barrels of light, sweet oil per day, extends 147 miles from Wilson County, Texas to Sealy, Texas. The pipeline has been linked with Enterprise’s Rancho pipeline at Sealy and is being connected with Gulf Coast facilities that include Enterprise Crude Houston (ECHO) crude oil terminal.
ECHO crude oil storage complex − with approximately 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity − is presently under construction at southeast Harris County. The initial deliveries of Eagle Ford Shale crude oil into Houston will likely coincide with the planned commissioning of ECHO in July 2012.
The ECHO facility is being developed as the leading delivery point in the Gulf Coast for the growing North American crude oil output and also offers shippers prospects to capitalize on their production. This terminal is in the vicinity of two crude oil pipelines, including the Seaway system, and offers shippers easy access to the world’s largest refinery and the Cushing storage and trading center. Recently, the Seaway pipeline came online and made its first crude oil delivery to Houston from the U.S. oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC is equally owned by the units of Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc. (ENB - Snapshot Report). This Seaway system also includes a terminal and distribution network that originates from Texas City, Texas, and serves refineries there and in the Houston region. Additionally, it includes dock facilities at Freeport and Texas City.
Phase II of the Eagle Ford Crude Oil system expands the partnership’s crude oil system into the far southwest portion of the Eagle Ford Shale. The phase consists of an 80-mile pipeline expected to be commissioned during the first quarter of 2013. It will extend from Wilson County to Gardendale, Texas, in La Salle County.
Enterprise Products Partners, a leading master limited partnership, is engaged in a wide range of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquid, and crude oil. With its diverse set of midstream infrastructure assets, we believe the partnership possesses fundamental strengths, which will in turn support consistent distribution growth.
Enterprise holds a Zacks #2 Rank, which is equivalent to a Buy rating for a period of one to three months. For the long term, we maintain a Neutral rating on the stock.
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