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Midstream giant Enbridge has acquired a major piece of export infrastructure along the US Gulf Coast in a big bet on the future of US oil production and exports. The Canada-based pipeline and logistics firm will acquire Moda Midstream’s dock and associated assets at the Port of Corpus Christi for some $3 billion in cash. The asset can export some 1.5 million b/d of crude oil and includes roughly 15.6 million bbl of storage capacity. The facility has permits to expand to 21 million bbl of storage and 1.9 million b/d of export capacity. Enbridge is renaming the facility -- the Enbridge Ingleside Energy Center -- and said it has a long-term 925,000 b/d commitment underpinning the deal. The transaction includes a 20% stake in the 670,000 b/d Cactus II pipeline as well as 100% operating interest in the 300,000 b/d Viola pipeline and 350,000 b/d Taft terminal. Acquiring Moda’s port facilities means Enbridge can offer shippers a direct and wholly owned path from oil sands wellheads in Alberta, the fields of the US Bakken Shale, and other regions nearly all the way to the point of loading for a tanker. But Enbridge is largely targeting light crude, such as that produced in the nearby Permian Basin. The transaction also highlights the dramatic emergence of North America as a crude exporter and confidence that those flows are here to stay.

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