TransCanada Corp. increased shipments of oil to Cushing, Oklahoma, through the Keystone pipeline in January, according to Genscape Inc., an energy information provider.
About 18 percent of the crude that moved through the Keystone line went to the largest U.S. storage and trading hub in January, up from 17 percent in December, according to Genscape. The 591,000-barrel-a-day pipeline delivered 12 percent of November oil shipments to Cushing.
“Toward the end of the month, we observed a marked increase in Keystone shipments to Cushing,” said Abudi Zein, New York-based senior vice president for Genscape. “If the trend continues, February will see a heavy inflow of Canadian crude into Cushing since Spearhead is also running higher.”
The Keystone pipeline, which begins in Hardisty, Alberta, can deliver oil to Cushing and Illinois terminals through separate legs that diverge in Steel City, Nebraska.
“We will not be providing breakdowns of where specific crude runs,” said Shawn Howard, a spokesman for TransCanada in Calgary. “This is done for commercial reasons and to respect the confidentiality of the commercial contracts we have with our customers.”
Oil inventories held in Cushing, the delivery point for New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures, climbed 1.48 million barrels to 30.1 million in the week ended Jan. 27, the highest level since Dec. 16, the department said.
Demand to ship on Enbridge Inc.’s Spearhead pipeline from near Chicago to Cushing in February jumped nearly eightfold from the previous month. Shippers requested space for 737,500 barrels a day on the 650-mile (1,046-kilometer) Spearhead line compared with 93,300 barrels in January, Calgary-based Enbridge said Jan. 26.
Genscape, based in Louisville, Kentucky, uses remote sensing technology to measure power consumed by pipeline pumping stations. The energy used is proportional to the power required to ship the crude, according to the company’s website.
There is 1.64 million barrels a day of pipeline capacity into Cushing and only 995,000 out of the hub, Martin Tallett, founder of EnSys Energy & Systems Inc., a Lexington, Massachusetts, consulting company, said in November.