Since crude oil prices tanked four years ago, the oil pipeline industry has seen many setbacks and slowdowns. Permitting woes, public resistance and narrow profit margins - both upstream and downstream pipeline companies - have made new crude oil pipelines seem like increasingly risky propositions. As such, Industrial Info saw very low growth in crude oil pipelines in North America during 2015 and 2016.

However, as prices increased in 2016, bringing production rates along with them, new pipeline capacity has become necessary, leading to a ballooning of project spending in crude oil pipelines in 2017. This spending has been largely centered in Texas, a change from the previous leader, Western Canada.

In 2014, there was a boom in spending on crude oil pipelines. Industrial Info added more than 330 project profiles, representing over $30 billion in spending. Most of this spending was dominated by mega projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with Texas representing only $2.5 billion. In stark contrast, 2016 was the slowest year in recent times, with only 35 new projects valued at just over $1.6 billion. However, Texas started to assert itself and had more than $800 million in spending, or fully half of the value of all the new projects added that year. In 2017, new pipeline investments in Texas grew to $4.7 billion, or two-thirds of the North American total of $6.6 billion.

Magellan announced that it had ordered pipeline steel and is seeking permits and right-of-way approval for the $150 million Houston-to-Hearne crude oil pipeline and $60 million Wink-to-Crane pipeline, both in Texas. The Houston-to-Hearne line will carry more than 85,000 barrels per day (BBL/d) of refined products 135 miles in two spreads, with access to other points in the Texas, Mid-Continent and Arkansas markets; the Wink-to-Crane line will carry 250,000 BBL/d (expandable up to 600,000 BBL/d) of Delaware Basin crude oil 60 miles from Wink to an interconnection with Magellan's Longhorn Pipeline. The company expects both to be operational in mid-2019.

Among the projects recently placed into service is the Midland-to-Sealy crude oil pipeline in Texas. Construction on 450,000-barrel-per-day (BBL/d) pipeline began in the first half of 2017. The capacity can be expanded up to 575,000 BBL/d. Primoris Services Corporation (Dallas, Texas), Holloman Corporation (Houston) and Pumpco Incorporated (Giddings, Texas) were general contractors on the project, which had an estimated total investment value (TIV) of $760 million.

Only three months into 2018, Industrial Info has added almost half a billion dollars in crude oil pipeline projects. Half of this spending is in Texas, and Industrial Info is finding more projects day by day.

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