Half of US oil pipelines sit empty

Half of US oil pipelines sit empty

Half of all crude oil pipelines across the United States are not being utilized amid lower fossil fuel production following the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the utilization rate of US oil pipelines stood at 60 to 70%, but now it’s down to 50% as production dropped from a record 13 million bpd to 11 million bpd.

The average, however, is not distributed equally across the country’s oil fields. The Gray Oak Pipeline in the Permian, for example, is being utilized at 94%, according to Wood Mackenzie’s head of oil data, Ryan Saxton. The BridgeTex pipeline, which ships oil from Midland and Colorado City to Houston, is being utilized at 70% of its capacity.

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