CERAWEEK-TransCanada mulls moving Canadian crude to Louisiana -exec

Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:53pm EDT
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By Kristen Hays

HOUSTON, April 21 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp is mulling ways to get Canadian crude to Louisiana refineries now that the company has forged a deal to increase its reach to southeast Texas Gulf Coast plants, its head of liquids pipelines said on Tuesday.

Paul Miller, president of liquids pipelines at TransCanada, said in an interview at the annual IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that Louisiana's 3 million barrels per day refining market could be the company's next target for Canadian crude deliveries, possibly via an extension of its 700,000 bpd Oklahoma-to-Texas MarketLink pipeline.

That could connect to a new TransCanada terminal, or to a partner's operation, much like TransCanada's plan to connect its new Houston terminal to Magellan Midstream Partners' terminal and distribution network.

TransCanada is building a new 700,000-barrel terminal at the Houston Ship Channel and a pipeline connecting it to MarketLink, both of which will start up this summer with links to Enterprise Products Partners' Oiltanking network. The Magellan linkup will add more connections to southeast Texas refineries.

Louisiana's access to Canadian crude is limited largely to rail and barge shipments, he said, and interest is there from refiners with plants able to process heavy oil.

"There's very low Canadian crude movement to the Louisiana market," he said. "We'll continue to look at Louisiana."

MarketLink now moves about 400,000 bpd of crude, he said. Keystone XL, the northern leg from Canada to Oklahoma, remains in limbo awaiting U.S. government approval.

In an earlier panel appearance, Miller said the company remains committed to the pipeline.

"We're undeterred," he said. "We have the full backing of our shippers." (Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Terry Wade and David Gregorio)