Enterprise Products Oil Pipeline Volume Rises on Demand Recovery

(Reuters) — Enterprise Products Partners said on Wednesday volume across its crude oil pipelines rose 5% in the second quarter on the back of a recovery in demand as the global economy continues to reopen following COVID-19 lockdowns.

U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel demand has nearly recovered to 2019 levels after the plunge in travel and business activity during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Enterprise said overall pipeline volume rose to 6.4 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly below the 6.7 million bpd in 2019. Total crude oil pipeline transportation volume rose to 2 million bpd in the second quarter from 1.9 million bpd in the first quarter and a year earlier.

"The global inventory excesses that came with the global pandemic for the most part has been exhausted," co-chief executive officer A. J. Teague said in the company's post-earnings call, adding he expects recovery to be a very strong extended cycle.

While U.S. producers have been adding rigs and boosting output, publicly listed companies have been cautious on production growth as shareholders favor capital discipline and returns in the form of dividend and buybacks.

Liquid volume handled by the company's marine terminals was 1.6 million bpd for the second quarter, lagging 1.9 million bpd in 2019, primarily due to weakness in crude oil and refined product exports.

Strong prices and lower inventories at the Cushing oil storage hub in Oklahoma are signaling that volume needs to stay in the country at least for now, Teague said.

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