Capline Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Capline Oil Pipeline was the largest crude oil pipeline by capacity in the United States. The flow direction was in the process of being reversed in 2020, decreasing the overall transport capacity.[1][2]


Originally, the pipeline started in St. James PAA Oil Terminal in St. James, Louisiana, terminating at the Patoka Oil Terminal Hub in Patoka, Illinois. As of June 2020, a reversal project was underway, reversing the flow so product would be transported from Pakota, Illinois to St. James, Louisiana.[2][3]

Loading map...

Project Details

  • Operators: Marathon Pipeline (MPLX)[2]
  • Owners: BP (minority holder), Plains All American Pipeline (54%, majority holder)[4] Marathon Petroleum (minority holder)
  • Capacity: 300,000 barrels per day[2]
  • Length: 632 miles (1,017.1 kilometers)[4]
  • Diameter: 40-inches[2]
  • Status: Operating, but temporarily paused for reversal construction[2]
  • Start Year: 2005, 2021


The 40-inch Capline oil pipeline spans 631 miles, transporting crude oil and condensate from Louisiana to the Midwest.[4] Its original capacity was 256,000 barrels per day.[2] BP uses the pipeline to supply its Indiana refinery.[1]

In April 2016, Marathon Chief Executive Gary Heminger said that the pipeline would likely be reversed to transport heavy Canadian crude to Louisiana, United States once oil prices recover.[1] In 2016, Capline transported only 360,000 barrels per day, about a third of its 1,100,000 barrels per day capacity.[5]

In May 2017, Plains All American told investors the pipeline would be "idled as redundant pipeline capacity" as new competing pipes are place in service, and "shut down" by 2021.[5]

Reversal Project

According to June 2020 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Capline pipeline is in the process of being reversed. The original capacity was 1,300,000 barrels per day with a northward flow from Louisiana to Illinois. Following the reversal, the initial capacity will be 300,000 barrels per day with a southward flow from Illinois to Louisiana. Light crude service is expected to begin in mid-2021.[2]

Expansion Projects

Patoka-to-Catlettsburg Expansion

The expansion led to a capacity increase of 14,000 barrels per day, from 256,000 barrels per day to 270,000 barrels per day. It has a 20-inch diameter from Patoka to Owensboro, Kentucky (140 miles), and a 24-inch diameter from Owensboro to Catlettsburg, Ohio (266 miles).

Patoka-to-Catlettsburg Project Location

The expansion projects runs from Patoka, Illinois to Catlettsburg, Ohio.[6]

Loading map...

Patoka-to-Catlettsburg Project Details

  • Operators: Marathon Pipeline (MPLX)[2]
  • Owner: BP (minority holder), Plains All American Pipeline (54%, majority holder)[4]
  • Capacity: 14,000 barrels per day[2]
  • Length: 406 miles / 653.4 kilometers[2]
  • Diameter: 20-inches, 24-inches[2]
  • Status: Operating[2]
  • Start Year: 2013[2]

Articles and resources


Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles