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Apache, Noble Energy sign as main shippers on Permian-to-Corpus Christi oil pipe

Oil and gas drillers Apache Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. have agreed to anchor Epic Midstream Holdings LP's 730-mile crude oil pipeline running from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi, Texas.

The pipeline, which will run alongside Epic's NGL pipeline, will service the Delaware Basin, Midland Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. Its initial total capacity will be at 590,000 barrels of oil per day, including 440 Mbbl/d from the Permian Basin and 150 Mbbl/d from Eagle Ford.

Epic is engaged in ongoing commercial negotiations representing at least 500 Mbbl/d in potential volume commitments and acreage dedications for the crude pipeline, the result of which will dictate if the pipeline will be upsized to a 30-inch line, taking its Permian Basin capacity up to 675 Mbbl/d, according to a May 10 news release.

At least 10% of system capacity will be reserved for uncommitted shippers.

Apache has secured 75 Mbbl/d of firm capacity while Noble Energy secured 100 Mbbl/d.

Right of way has already been secured for the first two phases of the crude oil pipe system, with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter and an in-service date expected in the second half of 2019.

Epic's crude oil pipeline and NGL pipeline are backed by capital commitments from funds managed by the private equity group of Ares Management LP. Apache may acquire up to 15% of the equity in the crude pipeline while Noble may acquire up to 30% of equity in the crude pipeline and up to 15% in the NGL line. All options expire in the first quarter of 2019.

Epic previously struck an agreement with BP PLC subsidiary BP Energy Co. to support the 220 Mbbl/d 650-mile NGL pipeline, which would serve production in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. Phase one of the NGL line is currently operational, while phase two is under construction and expected to come on line in June, with phase three's in service date slated for the second half of 2019.