Enbridge and Enterprise Products Partners agreed to reverse the direction of crude oil on the Seaway pipeline so it can carry oil from a major hub in Cushing, Okla., to refineries along the southern coast of the United States.
"The Seaway pipeline reversal provides an early opportunity to offer Gulf Coast access to midcontinent producers and other crude oil shippers," Patrick Daniel, the top executive at Enbridge, said in a statement. "A Seaway reversal will provide capacity to move secure, reliable supply to Texas Gulf Coast refineries, offsetting supplies of imported crude."
The pipeline could operate with a reversed service capacity of around 150,000 barrels per day by the second quarter of 2012, the company added.
Enterprise said reversing crude oil deliveries on the 500-mile pipeline could reduce transportation costs and accelerate development of crude oil reserves in North America.
Enbridge has said it already has plans for two new pipelines to the Cushing hub. Upgrades to Seaway could increase its capacity to 400,000 bpd by early 2013.