UPDATE 1-Magellan starts storing crude ahead of Longhorn line fill

Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:37pm EDT

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March 25 (Reuters) - Magellan Midstream Partners has started storing crude oil in tanks at Crane, Texas, the origin point for the Longhorn pipeline, which it expects to start transporting crude by mid-April, the company said on Monday.

It said it is making final preparations before beginning the line fill, which will amount to about 800,000 barrels on the 225,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) pipeline.

The line, which had carried refined products, has been reversed to transport crude to Houston refineries. It could help ease a glut of oil at delivery hub Cushing, Oklahoma, and support local oil prices by opening the door to new buyers.

Magellan had previously said it expected the line fill to start in mid-March. Despite the apparent delay in the line fill, the company still expects operations to begin in mid-April.

Magellan previously said it would begin transporting around 75,000 barrels through the 450-mile (724 kilometer) line and ramp up to full capacity by the third quarter of 2013.

The company reiterated it was looking into expanding the capacity of the pipeline by 70,000 bpd.

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