Sept. 03--CORPUS CHRISTI -- International trading company Trafigura AG on Tuesday sold 80 percent of its interest in Corpus Christi to Buckeye Partners, a Houston company that specializes in the transportation, storage and marketing of liquid petroleum products.
The transaction, announced in a statement issued by both companies, was for $860 million.
Under terms of the agreement, Trafigura, a subsidiary of Singapore-based commodities trading giant Trafigura Beheer B.V., will maintain 20 percent interest in Trafigura Terminals and keep commercial rights to use the assets. Among them are Texas Dock & Rail, a deep-water, high-volume marine terminal located on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel; EF90, a 50,000-barrel condensate splitter and liquefied petroleum gas storage complex; and Trafigura Field Services, its crude-gathering facilities that serve the Eagle Ford shale play.
In November, Trafigura signed a pipeline agreement with Energy Transfer Partners, of Dallas, for crude oil and condensate transportation capacity. The 82-mile pipeline system from McMullen County to Corpus Christi will include converting existing natural gas pipelines to handle liquids. The system would be capable of moving up to 100,000 barrels of crude and condensate daily.
And in March, Magellan Midstream Partners agreed to spend $250 million to build the condensate splitter and other facilities at the port. The Tulsa-based pipeline operator said at the time it might build another splitter here if the demand warrants it.
"We're still very dedicated to the South Texas market," said Marisol Espinosa, senior manager of media relations for Trafigura's Americas operations. "This transaction demonstrates the value of our infrastructure investments there."
In a statement, Buckeye's chairman and CEO Clark C. Smith said the move complements the company's portfolio of marine terminal assets and allows it to expand its reach in the Gulf Coast, which has "significant potential" for further growth.
"We expect this unique integrated system of assets will allow us to capitalize on the rapidly growing production in the Eagle Ford shale," Smith said.
The transaction is expected to close later this month, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
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