UPDATE 4-With Bakken oil pipeline, Enterprise goes where others have failed

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:09pm EDT
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(Adds comment from terminal and railroad logistics company)

By Ernest Scheyder and Sabina Zawadzki

BISMARCK, North Dakota/NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - E nterprise Products Partners LP proposed on Tuesday to build the first direct pipeline moving shale oil from the Bakken formation to the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub, hoping to succeed where others have failed.

The 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline will have a capacity of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) adding supplies to the delivery point for U.S. crude benchmark futures. Enterprise aims to have the pipeline up and running by the end of 2016.

This is the first foray by Enterprise into North Dakota, home to the majority of the Bakken oil fields where, despite a boom in oil production, several pipeline projects have already failed. Undeterred, Enterprise says the project marks a geographical expansion in its operations.

"Our business right now is focused on Texas and Oklahoma," Brent Secrest, vice president of onshore crude oil, pipelines and terminals, said when announcing the project at a pipeline summit hosted by North Dakota's governor in the state capital. "The goal is we go further north."

Shares of Enterprise hit an all-time high of $77.05 after Secrest spoke. The shares closed flat at $76.11 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Production has grown in North Dakota at paces rarely seen in oil formations around the world, which should bode well for companies building transportation infrastructure that has been lagging behind oil output.

However, out of five projects proposed in the past two years by Enterprise, Enbridge, ONEOK Partners LP, Koch Pipeline Co LP and Energy Transfer Partners, only Enbridge's 225,000-375,000 bpd Sandpiper pipeline is going ahead, and that runs eastward to Clearbrook, Minnesota.   Continued...