Shell Pipeline Co. LP said Wednesday it is considering building a new pipeline segment to move crude from St. James to the Golden Triangle area of Texas in a system expansion.

Shell Pipeline’s continued investment in the “Westward Ho” project will largely depend upon a favorable response to the Shell Pipeline’s Houma-to-Houston pipeline, for which a solicitation of interest closes Oct. 17.

Shell said the pipeline would create an additional market outlet for the anticipated increase in domestic crude oil production from the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. For U.S. Gulf of Mexico refiners, the project would enhance access to both the domestic production and the foreign crudes available at St. James, the company said. The Westward Ho Pipeline project also would complement new storage and logistics infrastructure that is currently being built in the St. James and Clovelly areas.

Subject to customer commitments and regulatory approval, the Westward Ho Pipeline is expected to begin service by early 2015.

Air Products to build new facility

Air Products said Thursday that it has broken ground in Convent on a 100-ton-per-day ion transport membrane oxygen production test facility.

The pilot plant project will include both an ITM unit producing oxygen and an electrical cogeneration unit producing power. The ITM demonstration project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy and is to be operational in the second half of 2012.

The company successfully operated a five-ton facility in Sparrows Point, Md., and is now boosting oxygen volume 20 times with the Convent project. The unit will provide engineering and economic data to position the technology for the next scale-up in size to about 2,000 tons per day, “which we see as the logical step toward serving much larger energy plants,” said Ted Foster, director of business development at Air Products.