A Texas oil company has put its plans for a 135 mile oil pipeline in Utah on indefinite hold, citing unfavourable market conditions.
Tesoro Corp. based in San Antonio had sought to build the pipeline to carry crude oil from the Uinta Basin to Salt Lake City refineries.
But the company says last year's plunge in oil prices has added uncertainty about the economics of shipping oil through the proposed Uinta Express Pipeline.
Project spokeswoman Cindy Gubler reporters that the extensive work already done on it leaves the proposal on the table should market conditions improve.
Tesoro announced in January it was completing a strategic review of the project, which had gone through a detailed engineering phase and was in the midst of the drafting of federal environmental review process.
The company was in the process of acquiring the necessary permits when "unfavourable market conditions" such as cheap crude oil and even cheaper natural gas led to the conclusion to postpone the project, said Cindy Gubler, spokesperson for the Uinta Express Pipeline.
"This downturn has added uncertainties about the economics of shipping crude oil through the Uinta Express Pipeline," she said.
New technology would have allowed Tesoro to convey an estimated 60 000 barrels of the thick waxy crude from the Uinta Basin to the company's refinery in Salt Lake City, where upgrades are underway.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Houston Chronicle, Deseret News