USD Partners buys Wyoming crude terminal

OREANDA-NEWS. October 14, 2015. USD Partners will a buy a crude rail terminal in Casper, Wyoming, with 100,000 b/d of loading capacity in a bid to relieve regional pipeline bottlenecks.

USD will pay \\$225mn for the facility which is owned by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, Cogent Energy Solutions and the Granite Peak Group.

The terminal went into service in September 2014. It includes a 100,000 b/d crude loading rail terminal with dual loop tracks, six storage tanks with 900,000 bl of total capacity, and a six-mile, 24-inch diameter pipeline with a direct connection to Spectra Energy's Express crude pipeline which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Casper. The Express line provides access to multiple grades of Canadian crude.

The terminal will help relieve a bottleneck at Casper caused by a difference in capacity between the 280,000 b/d Express pipeline and the 168,000 b/d of outbound capacity on the Platte pipeline system, USD officials said. The Platte system moves crude from Casper to midcontinent refiners.

The terminal's storage and blending capabilities will allow customers to ship preferred grades of crude from Casper to various refining markets.

"The terminal's high-quality customer base and strategic location ensure competitive, sustainable market access" and provide an additional platform for heavy crude solutions, USD chief executive Dan Borgen said.

The Wyoming terminal, which is served by BNSF railroad, could be expanded to include a second loading station and an additional 1.1mn bl of storage capacity with "relatively low incremental capital costs," USD said.

USD said last week it is planning a crude-by-rail transloading terminal on the Houston Ship Channel that will be able to handle multiple unit trains per day. That project is a joint effort with Pinto Realty Partners.

The Houston project will be connected to BNSF and Union Pacific railroads and will also host storage and blending operations.

USD was a pioneer in crude-by-rail terminals, having sold its loading terminals in the Niobrara, Eagle Ford and Bakken shales and receiving terminals at St James, Louisiana, and Bakersfield, California, to Plains All American Pipeline in 2012.