US crude, liquids pipeline system growing, AOPL-API report indicates

The US petroleum liquids pipeline network grew to more than 190,000 miles in 2014, 3.5% more than 2013’s total, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and American Petroleum Institute jointly reported on Nov. 30.

In 2014, crude oil pipeline mileage increased by more than 5,000 miles, or 9.1% year-to-year, AOPL and API added in their 2015 US Liquids Pipeline Usage & Mileage Report. From 2010 through 2014, US crude pipeline mileage grew more than 12,000 miles, or 22%, it said. “In the time the Keystone XL pipeline was under review, we built the equivalent length of 12 Keystone XL pipelines across the US,” AOPL Pres. Andrew J. Black said.

Crude oil pipeline delivery volumes also maintained their strong growth in 2014, the report said. It said that crude pipelines delivered 9.3 billion bbl nationwide that year, nearly 1.1 billion bbl, or 11.8% more, than the previous year.

Other petroleum product deliveries through US pipelines grew by nearly 500 million bbl, or 7.6%, from 2010 through 2014 to 16.2 billion bbl in 2014, the report noted. It said total pipeline deliveries of crude, refined products, and natural gas liquids totaled 16.2 billion bbl in 2014, 8.1% more than in 2013.

“The fall in crude prices during 2014 and 2015 has led to a slowdown in US crude production growth,” the report observed. “However, the advantages of pipeline delivery discussed above are fundamental. Operators are optimistic about maintaining existing throughput and constructing new pipelines. Over the long term, there will still be a need for pipeline growth to connect supply areas to demand locations. How these dynamics play out will be reflected in the 2016 usage and mileage report.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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