BP Midstream Sees Lower Onshore Oil Pipeline Volumes Amid Pandemic

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Volumes on BP Midstream Partners LP onshore U.S. oil pipelines began to fall late in the first quarter as demand destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold, officials with the company said on Friday. 

Flows on BP Midstream pipelines are expected to fall further in the second quarter due to the virus, which has cut about 30% out of global fuel demand.

"The impacts on throughput are likely to be even more apparent across our portfolio in the second quarter as a result of COVID-19 and broader market volatility," Craig Coburn, chief financial officer at BP Midstream Partners, said on a company earnings call.

Total pipeline gross flows in the first quarter were more than 1.7 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), broadly flat compared with the fourth quarter, the company said.

Higher volumes on BP Midstream's 135,000-bpd Diamondback pipeline, which transports diluent to Canada, helped offset lower flows on the 475,000-bpd BP2 pipeline, which ships crude oil to BP's Whiting, Indiana refinery.

Diamondback got a boost from peak winter demand, while BP2 suffered some decline in activity due to increased shipments on Enbridge Inc's Mainline pipeline system, company officials said.

The master limited partnership, formed by BP's U.S. pipeline unit, declined to give guidance for pipeline volumes going forward due to uncertainty around the economic effects of the coronavirus, company officials said.

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