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Oklahoma’s Cushing Oil Hub Illustrated

Filed by KOSU News in State Impact.
October 10, 2012

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

This illustration by Businessweek shows the pipeline pathways in and out of the crude oil storage hub at Cushing. Fields of tanks are fed by an 11-state pipeline network that stretches from North Dakota to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

It’s hard to wrap your head around the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Much of the pipeline infrastructure is underground, and what is visible is as expansive as it is unrevealing: Hulking, featureless cylinders in fenced-off fields. Thick steel obscures valuable oil storage and transport data, forcing traders to spy on the vast tankscape with satellites, sensors and infrared cameras.

It might be impossible to know exactly how much crude is in those tanks at any given moment. Even a good estimate could be worth millions.

But it’s a little easier to find out who can move the crude in and out of Cushing, and where it’s coming from. And the graphic gurus over at Businessesweek have assembled an elegant schematic of the major pathways to and from Cushing.

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