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EPIC Pipeline Set To Start U.S. Gulf Coast Oil Exports By End-2019

EPIC Midstream Holdings, the company set up to build and operate crude oil and natural gas liquids pipelines from the Permian to the U.S. Gulf Coast, will start actual exports of crude from its terminal in Corpus Christi by the end of 2019, EPIC Midstream’s President Brian Freed told Reuters in an interview.

On Monday, EPIC Midstream said that it appointed Freed president. Freed —who has two decades of senior management experience at Apache Corporation, Crestwood Equity Partners, Inergy Midstream, Energy Solutions International, and Entessa—said in a statement that “EPIC has a bright future, and I look forward to helping the company meet its goal of addressing surging crude oil and natural gas liquids takeaway needs from the Permian and Eagle Ford Basins.”

The EPIC Crude Oil Pipeline from Orla to the Port of Corpus Christi is one of several crude oil pipelines that are set to alleviate the bottlenecks in the fastest-growing U.S. oil basin, and is set to be in service in the second half of 2019, according to EPIC Midstream.

Production outpaced pipeline takeaway capacity in the Permian in early 2018, which weighed heavily on the Midland oil prices compared to other U.S. benchmarks. Companies are currently rushing to complete and place into service more pipelines to relieve the bottlenecks, and some are converting pipelines from shipping natural gas liquids (NGL) to crude oil to further ease the takeaway capacity congestion.  

Related: Will We Really See An Oil Glut In 2020?

EPIC Midstream has started to fill its crude oil pipeline and will make its first deliveries to Corpus Christi in the current quarter, Freed told Reuters, adding that the company has started to build a second dock at its Corpus Christi export terminal. This year, EPIC will be able to load tankers capable of carrying up to 500,000 barrels of oil, while next year, its export terminal will be able to host and load Suezmax oil tankers, such with capacity to carry up to 1 million barrels of oil.

Despite continuously emerging signs of slowing U.S. shale growth, some analysts think that the Permian will need more oil pipelines than there are currently in the works in order to ship crude oil to the markets over the next decade.

Despite the ongoing rush to build oil pipelines and an overbuild in the short term, the fastest-growing U.S. shale play will need additional pipeline capacity up to 500,000 bpd by the end of 2030 to ship soaring crude output to markets, Wood Mackenzie said in new research this month.   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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