Buckeye buys Trafigura's prized Texas oil assets

Wed Sep 3, 2014 8:48am EDT

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(Reuters) - Oil logistics specialist Buckeye Partners LP (BPL.N) will pay $860 million for control of Trafigura's [TRAFGF.UL] prized oil facilities in the Texas shale hub amid expectations Washington will relax its crude oil export ban.

U.S. firm Buckeye will buy 80 percent of the global commodities trader's South Stream assets which include a deep-water tanker loading terminal in Corpus Christi, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and a small refining unit known as a condensate splitter.

Trafigura will hold on to the remaining 20 percent in the Corpus Christi facility, described in Trafigura's 2013 annual report as "one of the company's most important strategic assets ... at the centre of the action in the world's largest, most dynamic, energy market".

The deal comes at a time of increased pressure on the U.S. administration to lift a ban on crude oil exports imposed in the 1970s, a move that would allow overseas markets to tap into the country's huge shale resources.

"This transaction demonstrates the value of our infrastructure investments in South Texas," said Trafigura's Head of North America Oil Trading Jeff Kopp.

Buckeye said it expected Buckeye Texas Partners to invest about $240-$270 million through the first quarter of 2016.

(Reporting by David Sheppard in London and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; editing by David Clarke)

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