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BP weighs shipping other products on U.S.-Canada diluent pipeline, asset purchases

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BP weighs shipping other products on U.S.-Canada diluent pipeline, asset purchases
FILE PHOTO: The BP logo at a petrol station in Kloten, Switzerland, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo   -   Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)
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HOUSTON (Reuters) – BP Midstream Partners LP <BPMP.N> is considering shipping other products besides diluent on its 135,000 barrel per day Diamondback pipeline, which helps transport diluent from the United States to Canada, Chief Executive Rip Zinsmeister said on Thursday.

The Diamondback pipeline ships diluent from BP Plc’s <BP.L> 430,000 bpd Whiting, Indiana, refinery through a junction in Gary, Indiana, to another pipeline in Illinois. The diluent is used in transporting heavy Canadian crude.

“The heavy oil crowd is long heavy oil, so diluents will still make sense,” Zinsmeister told analysts and investors on the company’s second quarter earnings call. “We’ll see growth over time … (but) we are looking at shipping opportunities of products other than diluent.”

Any shift in products transported on the pipeline will not occur in 2019, he added.

The master limited partnership, formed by BP’s U.S. pipeline unit, is also exploring financial options for a 2020 asset drop down from its sponsor BP Plc <BP.L>, but global trade tensions have made financing difficult, Zinsmeister said.

“We’re ready to drop down some assets, market-conditions permitting,” he said. “All options are on the table,” he added, though he did not say which asset drop downs are most likely to occur.

(Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Marguerita Choy)

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