MPLX to Restart Ozark Crude Pipeline After Damaging Storms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas pipeline operator MPLX LP said on Wednesday it will restart early on Thursday its Ozark pipeline, a conduit for crude from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage area to refineries in the Midwest.

Photo Courtesy of Marathon Petroleum

The Ozark system was shut on Tuesday after an operational check, the company said. MPLX did not give a reason for the check but Oklahoma has recently suffered from flooding and storms.

Ozark carries 360,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. WTI crude futures, to Wood River, Illinois, where Phillips 66 operates a refinery.

According to a shipper notice, the company expects the pipeline to operate at full capacity upon restart.

More than a week of downpours and deadly tornadoes have devastated the central United States, bringing record-breaking floods to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

More rain is forecast and the flooding is expected to spread, according to the National Weather Service and local officials.

Late on Tuesday, Tallgrass Energy LP said it halted all deliveries to destinations on the Pony Express Pipeline, a crude oil system, because of the weather and flooding in central Oklahoma.

Tallgrass last week shut down the pipeline's south end segment, which runs from Sterling, Colorado, to Cushing, because of flooding on the Cimarron River.

Meanwhile, operations at the HollyFrontier Corp refinery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were temporarily shut down on May 22 and will remain shut until the risk of flooding has diminished, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

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