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Trafigura Set To Increase US Oil Exports

One of the world’s biggest commodity traders, Trafigura, has signed a long-term agreement to transport 300,000 bpd from the Permian Basin to the port of Corpus Christi in Texas, via a pipeline expected to be operational in Q3 2019.

Trafigura has signed the deal with Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. to deliver crude oil via the Cactus II Pipeline to U.S. and international refining customers, the company’s splitters and export terminal in Corpus Christi.

“This is one of the largest commitments of its kind to be signed in the US and solidifies Trafigura’s position as a leading US exporter of crude oil and refined products,” said Corey Prologo, Head of Oil Trading and Director for Trafigura North America.

While Trafigura is strengthening its U.S. position, Plains All American Pipeline said earlier this week that it had received sufficient binding commitments to allow it to proceed with the construction of the new Cactus II Pipeline which includes a combination of existing pipelines and two new pipelines.

The new pipeline system, once in service, will add up to 585,000 bpd of Permian Basin pipeline takeaway capacity at a time in which Permian production is expected to continue to grow, leading analysts wondering whether there would be enough pipeline capacity to transport the increased oil production.

Related: OPEC Drives Oil Prices Back Up

Another commodity trader, Vitol, signed last month an agreement with Harvest Pipeline Company—an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy Company—to explore joint development of a crude oil terminal in the Port of Corpus Christi, in response to increased demand for crude oil transportation from the Permian and Eagle Ford.

Midstream companies will continue to pour billions of dollars into takeaway capacity infrastructure in the Permian, with each project worth around US$1 billion, for a total of tens of billions of dollars, Aaron Blomquist, managing director, investment banking with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., told Midland Reporter-Telegram in an interview last month.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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