Bulletin Board

Hurricane Florence Preparation

In anticipation of Hurricane Florence, Colonial is preparing for potential impacts later this week.   The current projected path of the hurricane includes South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. 

To assist in this planning, we are asking terminals to communicate any contingency plans or evacuations to customerrelations@colpipe.com.    Please continue to monitor schedules and bulletins for additional updates.

Colonial is committed to meeting the business needs of our customers. If you have any questions please contact the Colonial line scheduler or Sherri Palmer at (678) 762-2805.

Media inquiries should be directed to Steve Baker at (678) 762-2589

PAPS to Explorer Delivery - Diesel Products

Effective beginning Cycle 33, due to tankage constraints, deliveries of diesel fuel from Port Arthur Products Station to Explorer Pipeline (Route No. 3) as specified in the Colonial Pipeline Company Local Rates Tariff FERC 3.9.0, will be limited to no more than 60 Mb per cycle.

How it Works: Coding & Scheduling 

Whenever a product is shipped on the Colonial Pipeline system, the process that assures the correct fuel arrives at the right destination at a designated time begins with coding. These nomination codes are the system's DNA in a sense. They are the elements that are used to build schedules, track fuel and generally give order to the shipping process.

Nomination codes tell the company:

  • Who's going to ship,
  • The specific product being shipped,
  • When they're going to ship,
  • How much they want to ship,
  • The origin point of the fuel and its destination.

When a customer decides to ship product on the Colonial system, it follows an orderly process as depicted in the chart below and the explanation that follows.

The first three characters (in this case "ABC") indicate the shipper of record.  Each shipper is assigned a unique, three-character code that identifies the organization responsible for an order as it moves through each step in the Colonial system. This could be a refinery, trading company, government agency or an airline.
    • The shipper code is important because, if a problem arises with any given batch (e.g., a product scheduled for shipment has not been staged at the origin point at the appointed time), Colonial's scheduling department knows who is responsible. A company representative can get in touch with the shipper very quickly to ascertain details of the issue and plan next steps.
  • The next part of the code depicted (example: "54") identifies the specific product type that is being shipped. Every product that is transported in a Colonial pipeline has a specific, two-digit alpha-numeric assigned, whether it's a grade of gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, etc.
  • The last sequence in the shipper code (example: "01 4") is the cycle number* (see below), followed by a single-digit discretionary marker or identifier. The last number allows flexibility for shippers to include multiple batches under a single code – even if they originate from different points. If they need to separate the batches for any reason, unique identifiers would be assigned.

Using codes to identify the shipper, product and the cycle/discretionary marker enables Colonial to quickly answer shipper questions and resolve other scheduling issues.  Once the shipper provides a code, Colonial can enter it into the system for instant details about all information relevant to the shipment.

Transportation Project Updates

Colonial continues to strive to come up with innovative transportation solutions to meet its Shippers’ needs.  Along those lines, Colonial would like to provide an update on some of its key transportation initiatives:

  • Mainline capacity expansion:  Colonial is undertaking capacity enhancement projects that should add 50,000 barrels-per-day of capacity to Colonial’s Lines 1 and 2 by March 2019.  Colonial continues to evaluate potential mainline expansion projects to meet demand for PADD III to I movements.
  • Parkway Pipeline Connection:  Parkway Pipeline is connecting to Colonial at Collins, MS, providing improved connectivity at a key Colonial origin point.  The new connection is expected to be operational by the end of October 2017.
  • IHT service update:  Colonial is on the verge of completing a significant modernization project at Colonial’s Linden Junction.  Project benefits include i) increased capacity for the outbound lines, and ii) improved Intra-Harbor Transfer (‘IHT’) capabilities that will allow IHT movements to bypass tankage at Colonial’s Linden Junction, which should increase capability for moving segregated batches through IHT.  Delivery line transitions should be completed by the end of Q4 2017, and IHT bypass enhancements should be complete during the first half of 2018.  For more information or to discuss opportunities, customers can contact Eddy Chanthaphonh at schantha@colpipe.com

Line 25


Visit this site for updated information, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answers you are looking for, submit questions via this website or via email to

How it Works: Refinery Connections & Scheduling Shipments  

A pipeline is a simple concept in the broadest of terms, but when it comes to planning, building and operation, it is a highly engineered system – a modern marvel.  Knowing who can ship product and how it enters the pipeline is a first step towards understanding what it takes to operate the system, especially for those who have never worked in the field. 

Colonial's 5,500-mile pipeline network is connected to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, where the journey of fuels from petroleum companies to end users in the Southeast and along the Eastern Seaboard begins.

Colonial's connections to various refineries are completed to exacting federal government specifications. The pipes have proven to be safe and effective workhorses in the system for more than a half-century. Colonial's refinery connections have withstood powerful hurricanes, flooding (Hurricane Harvey being the most recent example) and just about anything Mother Nature has thrown at them.

Colonial's role in the fuel system

Hurricane Harvey brought floodwaters that caused the shutdown of many refineries in Southeast Texas that connect to Colonial. Colonial does not own any refined petroleum products. We transport refined petroleum products from refineries to terminals, where the product is eventually delivered to gas stations, usually via truck. Often there is confusion amongst the public about Colonial's role in our energy infrastructure. If refineries are not operating, the supply of refined petroleum products like gasoline that Colonial can transport is limited.


Who can use the Colonial Pipeline system?

Like telephone and electric lines, interstate pipelines are federally regulated transport systems that are accessible to any company that meets specific criteria. For instance, if a new refining facility is built along the network, and its operator meets certain government standards indicating they meet qualifications to ship petroleum products, it is Colonial's responsibility to make connections available. 

The flow of petroleum products

The flow of product along the Gulf Coast starts with commodity exchange traders and the buying and selling of batches. Traders obtain minimum tenders of 25,000 barrels, which is how petroleum is measured and traded.

Colonial routinely provides considerable lead time to our customers so that they can stage their products in time to lift into our system. That's how we help our customers in "preparing" their barrels for shipment.

According to Steve Brazeale, senior scheduler in Scheduling and Shipper Support, "once barrels are bought, it falls to Colonial's scheduling department to work with refineries in preparing the barrels for shipment by a specific date and time.

"That's an integral part of the process we perform in the scheduling department," Brazeale added. "We create the schedule and inform the refineries, tanker parties, customers and others when we expect to receive the product.



Past Allocation Summaries for 2015 and 2016


The following PDF’s contain our past allocation calls by year, by cycle, by segment.  CAP or A means the cycle was allocated, F indicates a cycle was frozen.  

CP 2015 Allocation Spreadsheet

CP 2016 Allocation Spreadsheet 

CP 2017 Allocation Spreadsheet 


CP 2018 Allocation Spreadsheet


The New Shipper Lottery


The New Shipper lottery generates a random number for each New Shipper who has submitted a nomination.  The lottery then organizes New Shippers into two tiers.  New Shippers who have nominated in the current Cycle and in the last Cycle in which a lottery was held but did not win the lottery in the previous lottery or have become a New Shipper in this Cycle are Tier 1 Eligible New Shippers while the remaining Eligible New Shippers are Tier 2 Eligible New Shippers.  The lottery orders each tier sequentially starting with the random number closest to zero.  New Shipper Capacity is then allocated with the lowest number Tier 1 Eligible New Shipper receiving the first Shipper Batch Volume for the applicable Cycle. Shipper Batch Volumes will continue to be allocated to the Tier 1 Eligible New Shipper with the number closest to zero, who has not yet received a Shipper Batch Volume, until either all of the New Shipper Capacity is subject to the lottery has been assigned (other than any final portion that is less than a Shipper Batch Volume) or all of the Tier 1 Eligible New Shippers have received capacity equal to the Shipper Batch Volume. If all Tier 1 Eligible New Shippers receive a Shipper Batch Volume and there is remaining New Shippers Capacity then the Tier 2 Eligible New Shipper with the lowest number will receive a Shipper Batch Volume for the applicable Cycle.  Shipper Batch Volumes will continue to be allocated to the Tier 2 Eligible New Shipper with the number closest to zero, who has not yet received a Shipper Batch Volume, until either all of the New Shipper Capacity that is subject to the lottery has been assigned (other than any final portion less than a Shipper Batch Volume) or all of the Tier 2 Eligible New Shippers have received capacity equal to the Shipper Batch Volume.




Did You Know?


Factoid #1:


Colonial has more than 5,500 miles of pipeline. Mainlines account for 2,600 miles.


Factoid #2:


Colonial connects to 29 refineries in the Gulf Coast region and two in the Northeast.