Canadian Crude Rolling into Gulf Coast Refineries

From Fuel Fix

By Zain Shauk

Canadian oil sands crude is now streaming into refineries on the Texas coast at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day, even as environmentalists are attempting to block its southward flow through the Keystone XL pipeline now under construction.

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge recently increased its shipping of the heavy hydrocarbon after a set of expansions allowed it to start transporting oil from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast last year.

Enbridge reached the 100,000-barrel-a-day milestone for the oil sands crude after completing a pipeline expansion last month, Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco said Tuesday during an interview with FuelFix.

The company’s Seaway pipeline, which it owns jointly with Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners, has a total capacity of up to 400,000 barrels a day, though the capacity is lower when it transports oil sands crude, Monaco said. The system connects with other pipelines that move oil from Canada and from shale plays throughout the U.S., he said.

Prior to Enbridge’s expansions and changes to its pipeline system, only small amounts of crude from Canadian oil sands made it either by rail or through small pipelines to the world-class refineries along the Gulf Coast that specialize in processing such oil, Monaco said.

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