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ExxonMobil and Plains All American Envision Major New Multibillion Dollar Pipeline System in the Permian Basin

ExxonMobil and Plains All American Envision Major New Multibillion Dollar Pipeline System in the Permian Basin (G B Hart / Shutterstock)

It appears ExxonMobil will lead the development of yet another pipeline system coming from the prolific Permian Basin, where the company expects a fivefold increase in output to as much as 800,000 BOE/D.

The supermajor is one of the largest producers in the Permian, where it had 27 operated rigs running at the end of March. In addition to backing oil takeaway from the Permian, ExxonMobil also is helping to move more natural gas from the basin, including through the 2 Bcf/d Permian Highway Project, which was granted the final investment decision in early September by Kinder Morgan Inc. and EagleClaw Midstream Ventures LLC.

Back in June, Exxon and Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline company signed a letter of intent to pursue the creation of a joint venture that would build another oil pipeline out of the Permian Basin. Exxon and Plains All American are planning a more than 1 million barrel-a-day pipeline that would move oil produced by Exxon and others to refining and export markets along the Gulf Coast.

According to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. (TPH) analysts, two new waves of pipelines will soon come on stream in the Permian. The first, from the Permian to the Texas coast, includes Plains-backed Cactus II Pipeline, the Gray Oak Pipeline system and one by Epic Pipeline Co. LLC. Epic also is building a parallel natural gas liquids line.

The second wave of crude oil takeaway from the Permian is expected to come via the Permian-Gulf Coast pipeline, which was sanctioned in early September, as well as the ExxonMobil-Plains system that Lotus intends to join.

“Assuming full design capacity of confirmed and proposed projects (i.e. expandability), implies nearly 8.0 million b/d of total local refining and takeaway, necessitating sustained production growth through mid-2020's to approach full utilization,” TPH’s team said.

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