Ambitious US Pipeline Firm Buckeye Quietly Makes Key Acquisition
NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Houston-based logistic firm Buckeye Partners has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse.
But the acquisition that may best symbolize its evolution is one the company didn't tout to investors this summer: a Washington lobbyist.
After spending most of the past century pumping fuel from one place to another, the 128-year-old company has become a key player in the import and export of North American oil, with an unrivalled network of East Coast and Caribbean fuel depots and an expanding business loading crude oil from trains to tankers.
On Tuesday it closed an $860 million deal to buy a crude oil and condensate terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, a big bet on the future expansion of crude exports from the Gulf Coast.
The spending spree has made Buckeye one of a handful of midstream energy companies whose operations touch nearly every major oil-policy issue being debated in Washington, from oil-by-rail transportation to the ban on U.S. crude exports and the Jones Act shipping law that requires use of costly U.S. oil tankers to carry American crude to domestic refiners.
In July, Buckeye retained Blank Rome Government Relations to represent it in the nation's capital, according to a lobbying registration filed last month. It was the first time records showed the company employing a lobbying firm.
Buckeye and Blank Rome did not respond to questions.
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