HOUSTON, March 27 (UPI) -- Commitments made to the expansion of the Seaway oil pipeline will double the available capacity from the oil hub in Cushing, Okla., two companies announced.
Enterprise Products Partners and Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. said they secured capacity commitments from shippers to move forward with an expansion project of the Seaway pipeline that would more than double its capacity to 850,000 barrels per day by mid-2014.
Both sides in November agreed to reverse the direction of crude oil on the Seaway pipeline so it can carry oil from Cushing to refineries along the southern coast of the United States. Reversing crude oil deliveries on the 512-mile pipeline could reduce transportation costs and accelerate development of crude oil reserves in North America.
Enbridge added it planned to move ahead with an expansion of its Flanagan South Project, which could add capacity to shippers looking to transport products from Illinois to the southern coast using a section of the reversed Seaway pipeline.
"Expansion of the Seaway pipeline, along with Enbridge's Flanagan South Project, will provide crude oil producers in the Bakken region and other emerging crude oil sources capacity to move secure, reliable supply to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, offsetting supplies of imported crude," Enbridge Chief Executive Officer Pat Daniel said.
The first phase of the Seaway reversal should be completed by June.