NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS) announced today the launch of a Binding Open Season by its affiliate, NuStar Logistics, L.P. (“NuStar”), to assess shipper interest in firm priority space to transport crude petroleum from the Niobrara Shale near Platteville and Watkins, Colorado to Wichita Falls, Texas (the “Niobrara Falls Project”). The Niobrara Falls Project would also have the capability to transport Permian and Granite Wash crude petroleum delivered into NuStar’s Dixon, Texas Tank Farm for delivery to the various destinations. The Niobrara Falls Project would allow shippers the option to supply various refiners along the pipeline routes, including Suncor Energy’s Denver, Colorado refinery; Valero Energy’s McKee, Texas and Ardmore, Oklahoma refineries; and WRB’s refinery in Borger, Texas. In addition, it is expected that at Wichita Falls, Texas, shippers would have the option to access the Nederland/Beaumont, Texas markets and/or the Cushing hub via third-party pipelines.
Proposed Niobrara Falls Project
The proposed Niobrara Falls Project would include construction of new crude petroleum pipelines from gathering locations in the Niobrara Shale near Platteville, Colorado and near Watkins, Colorado to a tie-in point on NuStar’s existing 10” McKee, Texas to Denver, Colorado petroleum products pipeline (the “NuStar Colorado 10” Pipeline”). The NuStar Colorado 10” Pipeline would be converted to crude oil service, reversed and connected with NuStar’s existing 14” Wichita Falls, Texas to McKee, Texas crude oil pipeline (the "NuStar Wichita Falls 14” Pipeline"), which would also be reversed. The NuStar Colorado 10” Pipeline would have an approximate capacity of 70,000 to 75,000 barrels per day, and the NuStar Wichita Falls 14” Pipeline would have an approximate capacity of 125,000 to 130,000 barrels per day. Shippers would have the option to contract for storage at the origin points near Platteville and Watkins, Colorado. Subject to sufficient commitments from shippers, necessary permits, regulatory and internal approvals, the reversed NuStar Wichita Falls 14” Pipeline portion of the Niobrara Falls Project is expected to begin service on or about April 1, 2013, with full Niobrara Falls Project service expected to begin around the 1 st quarter of 2014.
Access to Gulf Coast and Cushing MarketsIt is expected that the proposed Niobrara Falls Project would connect to the Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. Permian Express Phase I project at Wichita Falls, Texas and to the Basin System at Wichita Falls, Texas for further continuous pipeline service to the Nederland/Beaumont, Texas markets and/or the Cushing hub.
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