Owners of Louisiana-Illinois Pipeline Eye Reversal Next Steps

The owners of the Capline crude oil pipeline are proceeding with plans to reverse the flow of the facility to southbound service, pipeline operator Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) announced Thursday.

In October of this year the unit of Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced the launch of a non-binding open season to gauge interest in reversing the flow of the pipeline, which currently ships crude oil from St. James, La., to Patoka, Ill. Based on shipper feedback, Marathon and fellow owners Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. and BP Oil Pipeline Co. plan to evaluate next steps required for a binding open season, MPL stated.

Formerly a major conduit for delivering crude oil imported or produced in the Gulf of Mexico to Midwestern refineries, the 40-inch-diameter, 1.2 million barrel per day (bpd) capacity pipeline has seen a decline in throughput in recent years. If the pipeline’s partners go ahead with the southbound reversal, it would boast an initial capacity of 300,000 bpd, MPL stated. The pipeline would receive crude oil from connecting carriers at Patoka, and shippers at St. James would have access to a distribution network including refineries, terminals, ships, barges and rail, the company noted.

Pending agreement among the owners, MPL stated that it estimates southbound service would commence by the second half of 2022.


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