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Buckeye Pipe Line moves onto Phase 2 of Michigan-Ohio pipeline project

New York — Buckeye Pipe Line said Friday gasoline and diesel from the first phase of its Michigan/Ohio pipeline project began flowing east in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing volumes from Midwestern refineries into the Pittsburgh market.

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The second phase of the project will be operational in late 2018, CEO Clark Smith said on Buckeye's Q4 earnings and results call, increasing the geographic reach of the line eastward to Altoona, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh.

As part of the expansion, Buckeye intends to reverse a portion of its existing Laurel Pipeline, which currently runs east to west.

The Laurel Pipeline is a key supplier of gasoline and diesel to Western Pennsylvania from Philadelphia-area refineries. Its reversal is likely to signal a sea change in the region's refined product flows.

The second phase of the project will bring refined products from refineries in Detroit; Toledo, Ohio; Lima, Ohio; and Midland, Pennsylvania, southeast into the Altoona area of Central Pennsylvania.

No capacities were given for either project.

Buckeye is also adding 640,000 barrel of tankage at its Port Reading, New Jersey, facility. Buckeye is also looking to increase connectivity between its New York Harbor facilities.

--Janet McGurty,

--Edited by Jason Lindquist,