UPDATE 1-Koch Pipeline seeks shipper interest in Bakken pipeline

Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:21am EDT
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* Pipeline would carry 250,000 bpd initially

* May connect with larger project to move crude from Illinois to Louisiana

By Kristen Hays

HOUSTON, June 18 (Reuters) - Koch Pipeline Co LP may build a 250,000 barrel-per-day North Dakota-to-Illinois pipeline to move Bakken shale oil to markets, if enough shippers show interest, the company said on Tuesday.

On July 1, Koch will launch a non-binding, 45-day open season. If enough shippers show interest in the project during that time, the company will launch a binding open season to seek formal shipper commitments.

If approved, the Dakota Express pipeline would start up in 2016 with an initial capacity of 250,000 bpd, Koch said. The company did not disclose its estimated cost.

Last November, ONEOK Partners LP shelved plans to build a 200,000 bpd pipeline to carry Bakken crude to the U.S. crude futures hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, for lack of shipper interest.

However, Koch's proposal would bypass the glutted hub for a different route to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

Koch said the company also will explore connecting to the proposed Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, a $1.5 billion joint venture of Energy Transfer Partners and Enbridge Inc, which would carry Bakken and Canadian heavy crude south to Louisiana refineries.   Continued...