May 10, 2019 / 6:51 PM / 16 days ago

Apollo in talks to back Jupiter's U.S. crude pipeline, export projects: sources

HOUSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is in advanced talks to help finance a proposed oil pipeline and export terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The talks between Apollo and Jupiter Energy Group are the latest example of investors looking for oil infrastructure deals that tie booming U.S. shale production in West Texas and New Mexico to Gulf Coast export hubs.

At least eight crude export facilities capable of loading supertankers also have been proposed for the U.S. Gulf Coast, to provide an outlet for record U.S. oil production which last year surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become No. 1 in the world.

Apollo’s investment would be dependent on Jupiter securing commitments from producers willing to transport crude in its pipeline, as well as regulatory approvals, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public.

Apollo declined to comment.

Jupiter late last year proposed a crude pipeline and export facility off Brownsville, Texas, that would compete with similar projects advanced by Enterprise Products Partners LP, Enbridge Inc, and commodities trader Trafigura AG.

Investors Carlyle Group LP and Blackstone Group LP separately are backing planned crude export facilities in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Venice, Louisiana, respectively.

Jupiter’s open season to solicit shipper commitments for its proposed 650-mile (1,046-km) oil pipeline from the Permian to Brownsville ends on May 31.

Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston and David French in New York

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