Ethanol Producers Seek A Pipeline Solution

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 8:31 pm
By: News On 6

LARIMORE, N.D. (AP) An industry trade group is trying to determine the viability of shipping ethanol from farm states to coastal states via pipeline.

Supporters say using a pipeline could open up markets and clear a bottleneck that has kept the fuel additive from getting to the pumps.

But skeptics think the ethanol industry is still new enough that it's not clear where the pipeline should go, or whether ethanol prices will hold up enough to make it worth building.

The Washington, D.C.-based Association of Oil Pipe Lines is studying whether gasoline blends containing up to 20 percent ethanol can be transported safely in existing pipelines to break the bottleneck.

Mike Mears, the chairman of the pipeline group and vice president of Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, says the study also will focus on stress corrosion cracking and design requirements for new ethanol-only pipelines.

Mears' company operates an 8,500-mile pipeline network from Texas to North Dakota, and from Colorado to Illinois.