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The World's Largest Oil Storage Facility. The Cushing Tank Farm


The storage capacity of the world's largest tank farm in Cushing is deceptive since it is spread out over several miles.

Not many people are aware of the small Oklahoma town of Cushing, unless they are in the oil business. Cushing Oklahoma, home to only about 2000 residents, is the site of the world's largest oil storage facility. Signs outside town proclaim it the "Pipeline Crossroads of The World", since so many large transmission lines terminate and originate at the Cushing oil storage facility.

Cushing was once an oil town and boasted two refineries at one point. As the oil fields dwindled it became a good point to store oil because of it's centralized location and the number of pipelines already in place.

The tank farm can hold as much as 46.3 million barrels of oil, or enough to make gasoline to fill the tanks of half of all cars on the road in the United States. Most of the storage tanks are owned by for major companies, BP,  Enbridge Energy Partners, Plains All American Pipeline, and Semgroup Energy Partners. Enbridge has the most amount of storage at the Cushing tank farm with 15.7 million barrels, followed by Plains LP, Semgroup Companies, BP, Teppco Partners, Conoco Phillips and finally Sunoco.

Cushing will be the terminus the proposed 2,148 mile Keystone Pipeline which will transport up to 590,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta. Other major pipelines that terminate at the Cushing oil storage facility include the Spearhead and Pegasus pipelines.

The Cushing Hub as it is often referred, is one of the price settlement points for West Texas Intermediate Crude, as traded on the NYMEX exchange. It was chosen as the delivery location for light sweet crude futures in 1983.


Below is a breakdown of oil storage capacity and expansion
plans at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub.
Enbridge           15.7 mln bls         None planned
Plains LP          10.8 mln bls         None planned
SemGroup Cos        7.8 mln bls         Adding 3.1 mln bbls by
BP                  7.8 mln bls         None planned
Teppco LP           3.1 mln bls         Adding 3 mln bls in
ConocoPhillips      0.8 mln bls         No estimate available
Sunoco              0.3 mln bls         No estimate available
TOTAL*             46.3 mln bls         6.1 million barrels by
*As much as 20 percent of total, or "shell" capacity, is left
empty for safety reasons, or for blending and maintenance.
Sources: Company filings and presentations, industry sources.
The oil storage facility at Cushing Oklahoma will likely remain number one for a few more years however China is
planning to develop more storage facilities along the coast to augment it's 100 million barrel storage capacity.

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