April 3 The Seaway crude oil pipeline is
operating normally, a spokesman for the line's operator said on
Wednesday, after rumors circulated in energy markets that the
key line had shut down.
Enterprise Product Partners spokesman Rick Rainey
said in an email that the company did not comment on market
rumors but added, "I can tell you that the Seaway pipeline is
The pipeline, closely watched by oil traders, carries crude
oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the U.S. crude oil
futures contract, to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Rumors circulated in oil markets in New York Wednesday
morning about a problem with the line, as U.S. crude oil prices
At around 1:20 p.m. EST (1720 GMT), infrared pipeline
monitor Genscape reported that it had observed decreased power
consumption at all pumping stations along the line's route at
about 9:00 a.m. EST. The monitor later said it saw resumed flows
on the line at about 11:15 a.m.
Rainey said Enterprise does not give "minute to minute"
operational updates on the company's assets.
The 500-mile line, jointly owned by Enterprise and Enbridge
Energy Partners, was expanded earlier this year to carry
as much as 400,000 barrels of oil per day from Oklahoma to
Texas, a move expected to help clear surplus crude from the
Midwest and boost U.S. crude prices relative to seaborne rivals
like North Sea Brent.
In February, however, a filing from Enterprise with the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said the line would
run significantly below capacity, as the transportation of
heavier crudes slow down the line.
At 2:17 p.m EST, U.S. crude oil futures for May delivery
were down $2.71 at $94.48 a barrel. Brent crude oil for
May delivery was down $3.32 at $107.36 a barrel.
The spread between the two contracts was $12.90, narrowing
from $13.50 on Tuesday.