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Oil Benchmarks

Crude oil exists in a number of varieties and blends. The many types of crude oil are graded based on their density and sulfur content, and these factors determine how easily the crude oil can be processed for different purposes. Regarding these two factors, crude oil is often referred to as being light, medium, or heavy as well as sour or sweet. Because there are so many types of crude oil on the market, oil benchmarks or markers are used as a reference point for oil prices.

Crude Oil Density

Crude oil is often classified as light, medium, or heavy, which is in reference to the oil’s relative density based on the American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity. The API gravity compares the density of oil relative to water.

The higher the crude oil’s API gravity, the lighter and less viscous it is. Crude oil with an API gravity greater than 10.0 degrees will float on water and an API gravity less than 10.0 degrees will sink. Classifications for oil are as follows:

  • Light: API greater than 31.1°
  • Medium: API between 22.3° and 31.1°
  • Heavy: API between 10.0° and 22.3°
  • Extra Heavy: API less than 10.0°

The lighter the crude oil the more desirable it is as it contains greater quantities of light hydrocarbons that can be more easily converted into gasoline and diesel fuels.  Because heavy crude does not flow freely like light crude, extraction as well as transportation also requires more energy. Extra heavy crude oil also called bitumen is extracted from tar sands and is so highly viscous it must be diluted to flow through pipelines for transportation.

Crude Oil Content

Crude oil is also often classified as sour or sweet. This is referring to the amount of sulfur the crude oil contains. Crude oil is classified as follows:

  • Sour: Greater than 0.5% sulfur content
  • Sweet: Less than 0.5% sulfur content

Sour crude oil contains more hydrogen sulfide which at moderate concentrations pose a hazard to health. Sour crude therefore is more dangerous to extract and transport, as well as harder to refine due to the need to remove more impurities than sweet crude. Because of these higher processing costs, sweet crude is often used for gasoline, kerosene, and high-quality diesel while sour crude is usually processed into heavier oil such as diesel and fuel oil to avoid further processing costs. Due to sulfur’s corrosive properties sour crude also causes more maintenance problems for refineries. For these reasons sweet crude oil is generally more desirable than sour crude oil.

Crude Oil Prices

Light crude oil which contain greater quantities of hydrocarbons can be more easily and efficiently refined into gasoline and diesel fuels making it more desirable than heavy crude oil. Furthermore, extraction and transportation of heavy crude oil takes more energy.

Sweet crude oil is safer to extract and transport as well as easier to refine due to less impurities relative to sour crude oil. The lower sulfur content in sweet crude also results in less maintenance costs for refineries.

For these reasons, light, sweet crude oil is the most desirable crude oil and generally priced higher, while heavy, sour crude oil is least desirable and generally priced lower. Location however also plays a large part in the price of different crude oils. This is due to transportation costs which are heavily dependent on where the crude oil is extracted as well as availability of crude oil in nearby locations.

Crude Oil Benchmarks

Because there are many different types of crude oils based on density and sulfur-content, as well as location, benchmark crudes also known as marker crudes are used as a reference price for buyers and sellers. There are approximately 160 different benchmark oils, with three of these being primary benchmarks which get the most attention in the market. These three benchmarks are West Texas Intermediate (WTI), Brent Blend, and Dubai crude.

West Texas Intermediate Cushing (WTI-Cushing)

WTI crude oil comes from Southwestern United States and is refined mostly in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions.  WTI is priced at Cushing, Oklahoma and can also be referred to as WTI-Cushing (as opposed to WTI-Midland which is priced in the Permian Basin). Since WTI production is land-locked, it is relatively expensive to ship to certain parts of the world.

West Texas Intermediate is the main benchmark for oil consumers in North America and is a very high-quality crude oil which is easily refined. The API gravity is 39.6 degrees and the sulfur content is 0.24% which classifies WTI as a light, sweet crude oil.

Brent Blend

Brent Blend crude, London Brent, or more commonly referred to as just Brent crude is a blend of crude oil extracted from four different oil fields in the North Sea. It is the most commonly referenced benchmark oil from Europe.

Brent crude is not as light as West Texas Intermediate or as sweet but because Brent crude is extracted from the North Sea, global transportation is easier than WTI. For this reason, Brent Blend represents more than half of the crude oil traded internationally and is a benchmark used by approximately two-thirds of crude oil traded internationally.

Brent crude has an API gravity of about 38.1 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.37% which also classifies this crude oil as light and sweet.

Dubai Crude

Dubai Crude oil is extracted from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Since Dubai Crude is one of the few Persian Gulf crude oils available, it has become the primary benchmark used for crude oil exports delivered to Asian refineries from the Middle East Gulf. As the use of the Dubai benchmark has increased, it is also often used as a pricing reference for crude oil cargoes used across the Asia-Pacific and US West Coast.

Dubai crude has an API gravity of 31.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 2.00% which classifies it as a medium, sour crude oil.

West Texas Intermediate Midland (WTI-Midland)

West Texas Intermediate Midland crude is priced in the Permian Basin, a high crude oil production area in West Texas. WTI-Midland has become the price assessment used to determine WTI delivered to the Texas Gulf Coast refining complex. This benchmark rivals WTI-Cushing in terms of the volume of spot physical trading and is very useful for buyers and sellers of US Gulf Coast crude oil.

WTI-Midland has an API gravity of 44.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.45% classifying it as a light and sweet crude oil.

Louisiana Light Sweet (LLS)

Louisiana Light Sweet crude oil is produced in the Gulf of Mexico, and is traded at its hub in St. James, Louisiana. This benchmark has been rising in importance as a secondary benchmark apart from the more commonly used West Texas Intermediate benchmark. This is because while WTI is a better reflector of the US Midcontinent market, LLS is more reflective of the market for light, sweet crude oil at the Gulf Coast.

Louisiana Light Sweet, as indicated by its name is a light, sweet crude oil with an API gravity of 38.5 and a sulfur content of 0.39%.

Alaska North Slope (ANS)

The major oil fields that make up Alaska North Slope oil include Prudhoe Bay, Kaparuk, and Lisburne located in Northern Alaska. ANS is loaded at the Alyeska Valdez, Alaska Marine Terminal and has been economically processed throughout the United States, Japan, Korea, and China.

Alaska North Slope crude oil has an API gravity of 29.6 degrees, and a sulfur content of 0.96% classifying it as a medium, sour crude oil.

Mars Blend

The Mars oil field was the largest discovery in the Gulf of Mexico in over 25 years. Mars is a permanent offshore oil drilling platform in the Mississippi Canyon. The crude oil is piped to West Delta and then to storage facilities in Clovelly, Louisiana.

Mars Blend has an approximate API gravity of 31.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 2.00%. According to Argus, Mars Blend is classified as a light, sour crude oil.

Western Canada Select (WCS)

Western Canada Select is the primary heavy crude oil benchmark used in Canada. It is a blend of 20 heavy, conventional oil streams produced in western Canada. These various streams are blended at a storage terminal in Hardisty, Alberta.

Western Canada Select oil has an API gravity of 20.5 degrees and a sulfur content of 3.43% which classifies it as a heavy, sour crude oil. This is due to the fact that WCS is heavily composed of bitumen, which is diluted into dilbit for transportation.

Edmonton Mixed Sweet Blend

Edmonton Mixed Sweet Blend, formerly known as Edmonton Par, is the main benchmark used in Canada for light, sweet crude oil produced in Western Canada. Edmonton Mixed Sweet more closely represents WTI specifications and is priced and blended in tanks in Edmonton, Alberta.

Edmonton Mixed Sweet Blend has an API gravity of 40.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.36% classifying it as a light, sweet crude oil.

Mexican Maya

Mexican Maya is an important benchmark for heavy, sour crude oils in the US Gulf Coast market. It is a blend of crude oil from two major oil fields in Mexico, the Cantarell and Maloob Zaap oil fields. Mexican Maya crude is similar in quality to Western Canada Select, however because it has direct access to the ocean and thus international markets, it is priced higher.

Mexican Maya crude oil has an API gravity of 21.8 degrees and a sulfur content of 3.33%, which classifies it as a heavy, sour crude oil.

Isthmus

Isthmus crude oil is produced in the Campeche zone in Mexico, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. In the past this oil has been a very important Mexican crude oil benchmark and is transported to the US West Coast as well as the Far East. In recent years however, production has fallen.

Isthmus crude oil is a light, sour oil with an API gravity of 33.6 degrees and a sulfur content of 1.30%.

Tapis Light

Tapis Light produced in southeast Asia is the primary Malaysian crude benchmark oil and is traded in Singapore. Tapis Light crude which was once one of the main benchmarks used in Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam is becoming less used. The shift is now towards using Dated Brent to assess the value of Asian grades.

Tapis Light crude oil has an API gravity of 44.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.04% classifying it as a light, sweet crude oil. Due to the very high API gravity and low sulfur content Tapis Light was once considered one of the most expensive benchmark crude oils. However, the price of Tapis Light has fallen as production has decreased and Australia and southeast Asia has made the move towards Brent.

Arab Light

Arab Light crude oil is mainly produced in the Ghawar oil field of Saudi Arabia. It is a major oil export from the country and a widely used global crude oil benchmark. Arab Light is marketed in refining centers located in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Arab Light has an API gravity of 33.0 degrees and a sulfur content of 1.77% classifying it as a light, sour crude oil.

Arab Heavy

Arab Heavy crude oil is produced mainly from the Manifa oil field which lies underneath the shallow Manifa Bay in Saudi Arabia. To extract the heavy oil in this area, numerous man-made islands were created, rather than offshore platforms which could potentially damage the delicate ecosystem. Arab Heavy is an important benchmark for pricing heavy crude oil produced in Saudi Arabia.

Despite the name, Arab Heavy crude oil has an API gravity of 27.4 degrees and a sulfur content of 2.8% classifying it as a medium, sour crude oil.

Qatar Marine

Qatar Marine crude oil is a blend of crude oils extracted from six off-shore production stations east of Qatar. The oil fields include the Bul Hanine Field, Maydan Mahzam Field, Idd El Shargi North Dome, Idd El Shargi South Dome, Al-Khalij Field, and Al Karkara Field.

Qatar Marine crude oil has an API gravity of 31.8 degrees and a sulfur content of 1.47% which classifies it as a light, sour crude oil.

Daqing

The Daqing Oil Field is located in eastern China and is the country’s largest oil field. Oil produced here accounts for almost a third of all domestic crude oil production within China. This oil field however is mature and prone to declining production which has been seen over the past few years.

Daqing crude oil has an API gravity of 32.2 degrees classifying it just within the light category, and a sulfur content of 0.11% which classifies it as a sweet crude oil.

Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Blend (ESPO Blend)

Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Blend is produced from oil fields located in central to eastern Russia and is a benchmark used in the Asia-Pacific. The ESPO pipeline exports this blend of crude oil from Russia to Japan, China, and Korea.

ESPO blend has an API gravity of 34.8 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.62% classifying it as a light, sour crude oil.

Urals

Urals is a Russian blend of crude oil from the Urals region in eastern Volga and western Siberia. Urals is recently becoming a benchmark used for pricing Russian export oil mixture. Russia is one of the largest oil producers in the world and the largest non-OPEC crude oil exporter. With the large physical underlying reserves of Urals crude oil, this benchmark has potential to become a widely used benchmark in the future.

Urals crude has an API gravity of 31.7 degrees and a sulfur content of 1.35% just classifying it as light, sour crude oil.

Bonny Light

Bonny Light crude oil is a high-grade crude oil produced in the Niger Delta basin, in Nigeria. This crude oil is shipped to American and European refineries and is an important benchmark crude reference for all production in West Africa.

Bonny Light crude has an API gravity of 34.5 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.14% classifying it as a light, sweet crude oil.

Qua Iboe

Qua Iboe crude oil is a West African crude produced in the Bight of Biafra in southeastern Nigeria. This crude oil produced offshore is transported by an underwater pipeline system to storage tanks located at Qua Iboe terminal. This benchmark oil though not as referenced as Bonny Light is also a common benchmark for West African production.

Qua Iboe crude has an API gravity of 37.6 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.10% classifying it as a light, sweet crude oil.

Brass Blend

Brass Blend crude oil is produced in southern Nigeria in the Brass River area. This high-quality crude oil is loaded from the Brass River terminal and is an important benchmark oil in West Africa.

Brass Blend crude has an API gravity of 36.3 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.13%, classifying it as a light, sweet crude oil.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Basket

The OPEC reference basket or OPEC basket is a weighted average of oil prices from different OPEC members around the world. The basket includes prices of light, medium and heavy crude oils from fourteen countries. This includes Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. The OPEC basket is an important benchmark for monitoring the price of crude oil in the global market.

Although the OPEC basket is not a specific crude, the current crude oils which make up the OPEC basket result in an average API gravity of 32.7 degrees and sulfur content of 1.77%.

Crude Oil Benchmark Data

The following table summarizes and lists the aforementioned benchmarks, along with their corresponding API gravities, sulfur contents, classifications, and locations of production.

*API gravity and sulfur contents of benchmark crude oils may change over time and blends are mixed within a specified acceptable range which may result in slightly different numbers stated across resources

The following table displays the price per barrel (in USD) of each of the benchmark oils, as well as the price differential in relation to the West Texas Intermediate Cushing benchmark oil price.

*Prices are taken from Bloomberg and correspond to March 2019

North American Oil Transportation

In order to transport crude oil once it is extracted, vast networks of pipelines are used to carry the oil to refineries and storage facilities across North America. Pipelines are considered the most cost-effective way of transporting oil on land. In North America the major pipeline systems are owned by Enbridge, TransCanada, Kinder Morgan, and ExxonMobil.

Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge is a global energy infrastructure company which operates the longest crude oil and liquids transportation system in North America. This pipeline system connects the Athabasca oil sands to Ontario and oil refineries in the American Midwest. Enbridge transports about 25 percent of all crude oil produced in North America.

The Enbridge pipeline system consists of approximately 27,415 kilometres of active pipeline in total, throughout North America. These pipelines transport 62 percent of U.S. bound Canadian export oil and is the largest single conduit of oil into the U.S. accounting for about 29 percent of total U.S. crude oil imports. Over 3 million barrels of crude oil and liquids are delivered every day through the Enbridge pipeline system.

Athabasca Pipeline System

The Athabasca Pipeline begins near Fort McMurray, Alberta at Enbridge’s Athabasca terminal and delivers crude oil to Enbridge’s Hardisty Terminal near Hardisty, Alberta. The Hardisty Terminal is a major crude oil hub and an origination point for oil heading from Canada to the United States. The Athabasca Pipeline is about 542 kilometres in length and the average annual capacity is 570,000 barrels per day.

The Athabasca Pipeline has a twin which originates near Fort McMurray as well, however at Enbridge’s Cheecham Terminal and terminates in Hardisty at Enbridge’s Battle River Terminal. This pipeline is 454 kilometres in length and the throughput capacity averages 800,000 barrels per day.

Woodland Pipeline

The Woodland Pipeline is another Enbridge owned pipeline that originates near Fort McMurray, Alberta. This pipeline delivers heavy crude to Enbridge’s Edmonton Terminal. It is about 525 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 379,000 barrels per day.

Express-Platte Pipeline System

The Express Pipeline is 1,263 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 280,000 barrels per day. It originates in Hardisty, Alberta and delivers a variety of light, medium, and heavy crude oils to Casper, Wyoming. The Casper Terminal is a major storage and blending terminal which connects the Express Pipeline to the Platte Pipeline.

The Platte Pipeline transports mainly crude oil from the Bakken, the Denver-Julesberg Basin, and the Powder River Basin, as well as crude from Canada via the Express Pipeline. It starts in Casper, Wyoming and delivers to refiners around Wood River, Illinois and Cushing, Oklahoma. This pipeline is 1,501 kilometres in length and transports approximately 145,000 barrels per day to Wood River.

Enbridge Mainline System

The Enbridge Mainline System consists of a number of pipelines and is Canada’s largest crude oil pipeline system. The Mainline originates in Edmonton, Alberta and extends east through Hardisty and Regina towards the Great Lakes. At Superior, Wisconsin, the Mainline branches into two pipeline systems. The first pipeline travels around Lake Michigan to the north and terminates at the Sarnia Terminal in Ontario. The second pipeline travels south and delivers oil to refineries near Wood River, Illinois. Pipelines which still make up this segment of the Mainline then travel around Lake Michigan to the north and also terminate at the Sarnia Terminal.

In total, the Enbridge Mainline consists of about 3,057 kilometres of pipeline and the system has a capacity of about 2.5 million barrels per day. From the terminal in Sarnia, Ontario, the Mainline connects to several pipelines which deliver crude oil to Quebec, Ontario, and Pennsylvania.

Southern Lights Pipeline

The Southern Lights Pipeline is a diluent pipeline which originates in Manhattan, Illinois and terminates at the Edmonton Terminal in Alberta. This pipeline is very important as these diluents are used to blend bitumen and heavy crude oil at the Edmonton terminal.

The Southern Lights Pipeline is 2,560 kilometres in length and has an average throughput capacity of about 180,000 barrels of diluent per day.

Bakken Pipeline System

The Bakken Pipeline System consists of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline. It originates in the Bakken/Three Forks area of North Dakota and delivers crude from this production area to market centers in Illinois and finally to storage terminals in Texas.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is the beginning of this pipeline system. It originates in North Dakota and delivers crude to Patoka, Illinois. This pipeline is 1,886 kilometres in length and has a capacity of about 470,000 barrels per day.

The Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline is jointly owned by Energy Transfer Partners, Enbridge, Phillips 66, and Marathon Petroleum. This pipeline makes up the second segment of the Bakken Pipeline System and travels from Patoka, Illinois to the Sunoco Terminal in Nederland, Texas. The Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline is 1,194 kilometres in length with a capacity of about 470,000 barrels per day.

TransCanada Corporation

TransCanada is one of the largest North American energy companies. It is based in Calgary, Alberta and operates business lines in natural gas, oil and liquids, and energy.

TransCanada’s oil and liquids pipeline infrastructure consists of approximately 4,900 kilometres of active pipeline in North America. Their largest pipeline, the Keystone Pipeline System delivers approximately 20 percent of Western Canadian crude oil to refineries in the United States.

Keystone Pipeline System

The Keystone Pipeline System is about 4,324 kilometres in length and delivers approximately 590,000 barrels per day of western Canadian crude oil into the US. This pipeline system consists of the Keystone Pipeline, the Cushing Extension Pipeline, the Marketlink Pipeline and the Houston Lateral Pipeline.

The Keystone Pipeline originates in Hardisty Alberta, runs east into Manitoba and then travels south across the border to Steele City, Nebraska. At this point, the pipeline branches into two segments. The first continues to the Wood River and Patoka terminals in Illinois. This section of pipeline is about 3,456 kilometres in length.

The second segment of the Keystone Pipeline System becomes the Cushing Extension Pipeline. The Cushing Extension Pipeline connects this pipeline system from Steele City to the major crude oil hub at Cushing, Oklahoma. It runs about 468 kilometres in length.

From Cushing, the Keystone Pipeline System continues south to Port Arthur, Texas via the Marketlink Pipeline. This pipeline includes American produced oil and runs approximately 700 kilometres in length.

The Houston Lateral Pipeline is the final 77-kilometre pipeline that connects the Marketlink Pipeline to refineries and terminals in the Houston, Texas area.

Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a pipeline that would serve a similar purpose to the first portion of the Keystone Pipeline System. This pipeline would originate in Hardisty, Alberta and deliver crude oil to Steele City, Nebraska. Rather than running east across Canada before crossing the border in Manitoba, this pipeline would run a more direct route to Nebraska crossing the Canada-US border in Saskatchewan.

The Keystone XL Pipeline construction was put on hold by the Obama administration in 2015, however construction has been continued under the Trump administration. This pipeline is expected to be completed by late 2020.

The Keystone XL Pipeline will run about 1,897 kilometres in length and will have a throughput capacity of 830,000 barrels per day. This would be considered an extension of the Keystone Pipeline System and bring the total capacity to over 1 million barrels per day.

Grand Rapids Pipeline System

The Grand Rapids Pipeline System is jointly owned by TransCanada and PetroChina Canada Ltd. This pipeline connects the crude oil producing Athabasca region near Fort McMurray, Alberta to terminals in the Edmonton Heartland region.

The Grand Rapids Pipeline runs about 460 kilometres in length and consists of two parallel lines. One pipeline transports diluent to Fort McMurray to be mixed with the heavy tar sands to allow for transportation. The pipeline system has a throughput capacity of approximately 900,000 barrels per day of crude and 330,000 barrels per day of diluent.

Northern Courier Pipeline

The Northern Courier Pipeline connects the Fort Hill mine and Suncor East Tank Farm bitumen extraction facility to Fort McMurray, Alberta. This pipeline also consists of two parallel lines. One for diluent and the other to transport the dilbit.

The Northern Courier Pipeline is approximately 90 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 194,000 barrels of crude per day.

Kinder Morgan, Inc

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. The company owns several natural gas, CO2, and crude oil pipelines as well as 157 terminals across North America. Kinder Morgan operates or owns an interest in approximately 135,000 kilometres of pipeline. In 2018, Kinder Morgan sold a major pipeline system to the Canadian government.

Trans Mountain Pipeline System

The Trans Mountain Pipeline System was owned by Kinder Morgan up until August 31st, 2018 in which they sold this pipeline to the Government of Canada for C$4.5 billion. This pipeline system delivers approximately 300,000 barrels of crude oil and refined products each day. Currently a pipeline expansion project is underway to create a twinned pipeline that will increase the throughput capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline system spans about 1,150 kilometres. The pipeline connects the oil producing areas of Alberta to the coast of British Columbia and Washington. It begins at the Edmonton Terminal in Alberta and ends up in storage tanks at the Kamloops Terminal, Sumas Pump Station and Terminal, Burnaby Terminal, and Westridge Marine Terminal in British Columbia. At the Sumas delivery point, crude is transported to Washington state refineries in Anacortes, Cherry Point and Ferndale via the Trans Mountain Puget Sound Pipeline.

Double Eagle Pipeline

The Double Eagle Pipeline is a joint venture between Kinder Morgan and Magellan Midstream Partners. This pipeline transports crude and condensate (an extremely high API gravity hydrocarbon) from the Eagle Ford shale area in Texas to customers in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Double Eagle Pipeline system is about 330 kilometres long and has a throughput capacity of 100,000 barrels per day. In 2015 a 16-kilometre extension was built to connect the Double Eagle Pipeline system to another Kinder Morgan pipeline system, the Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate Pipeline.

Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate (KMCC) Pipeline

The Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate Pipeline also originates in the Eagle Ford shale area and delivers crude and condensate to multiple terminals with access to the Texas Gulf Coast. This pipeline originates in the Karnes, DeWitt, and Gonzalez counties in Texas. An extension was built which connected this pipeline to the Double Eagle Pipeline system in 2015.

The Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate Pipeline is approximately 424 kilometres long and has a throughput capacity design of 300,000 barrels per day.

ExxonMobil Corporation

ExxonMobil is one of the largest energy providers and chemical manufacturers in the world. ExxonMobil owns over 30 oil refineries globally, with total refining capacity around 4.9 million barrels per day, 2.1 million being in North America. Within North America, pipeline operations consist of over 8,000 kilometres of active pipeline which connect facilities in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and its affiliates transport over 960,000 barrels of crude oil each day.

Pegasus Crude Oil Pipeline

The Pegasus Crude Oil Pipeline connects the Patoka Oil Terminal Hub in Illinois to refineries in Nederland, Texas. This pipeline carries dilbit which originates from the Alberta Tar Sands to these refineries.

The Pegasus Crude Oil Pipeline is approximately 1,380 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 90,000 barrels per day.

Silvertip Crude Oil Pipeline

The Silvertip Crude Oil Pipeline runs from the Elk Basin in Wyoming and delivers crude oil to Cenex at Laurel in Montana and the ExxonMobil Billings refinery in Billings, Montana.

This pipeline is approximately 111 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of about 40,000 barrels per day.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil Pipeline System

The Heavy Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil Pipeline System is a commingled crude system that gathers crude from several Gulf Coast sources. This pipeline originates offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and delivers oil to the ExxonMobil North Line Crude Oil Pipeline, and refineries near the St. James area in Louisiana.

This pipeline system is approximately 420 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 44,000 barrels per day.

North Line Crude Oil Pipeline

The North Line Crude Oil Pipeline runs from St. Louis, Louisiana and delivers crude oil to Longview, Texas. Currently only the portion of the pipeline that runs from St. James to the Baton Rouge refinery is active.

The pipeline is about 95 kilometres in length and has a throughput capacity of 160,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

North American Pipeline Data

The following table summarizes the corresponding capacity in barrels per day, length in kilometres, and ownership of the aforementioned pipelines and pipeline systems.

Sources

Energy InfrastructureOil Benchmarks · Proposed Oil Pipelines in Canada · Natural Gas Benchmarks · Global Oil Supply and Inventory Primer · Oil and the Canadian Economy · Liberalization of Chinese Markets and Oil · Natural Gas Supply and Demand Primer ·
Sean
Sean
Sean Kadota is a fourth-year commerce student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, specializing in finance. He recently passed the CFA Level 1 exam and is currently building his knowledge through Wall Street Prep. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano, listening to true-crime podcasts, and reading.

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