It was a day of celebration on Friday as Canada-based Enbridge and Houston-based Enterprise Products began the delivery of Canadian tar sands crude oil to the Houston area through a new pipeline system. The Seaway Pipeline system twin loop and the new Flanagan South pipeline connect in Cushing, Oklahoma, with the newly constructed Seaway loop delivering up to 450,000 barrels of Canadian crude per day.
Currently, about 250,000 barrels per day arrive in Freeport.
Enterprise executive vice president and COO Jim Teague called the effort a “heck of a marriage” between Enbridge with its Canadian crude “supply aggregation” and Enterprise with its “distribution system” to every refinery in the Texas City, Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur regions.
The Seaway Crude Pipeline is a 50-50 joint venture between Enterprise and Enbridge. The Seaway system includes a 500-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline. On May 17, 2012 Enterprise and Enbridge completed a project to reverse the flow direction of the pipeline, allowing it to transport crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma hub to the vast refinery complex along the Gulf Coast near Houston.
The “loop” portion of the pipeline was completed in 2014, and was designed to run parallel with the existing Seaway Pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast. The additional loop is expected to more than double the Seaway’s capacity to 850,000 barrels per day.The Keystone XL was originally scaled to flow a maximum of 700,000 bopd.