FACT CHECK: Oil Transported by Bayou Bridge Pipeline Will Go to China

CLAIM: The Guardian published an article claiming that crude oil transported by the Bayou Bridge Pipeline “will be shipped primarily to China.”

RATING: False 

The claim is not only unsubstantiated, it is also inaccurate based on information available about the pipeline. 


The soon-to-be-completed 176-mile Bayou Bridge Pipeline will transport up to 480,000 barrels per day of crude oil from storage facilities in Lake Charles, Louisiana to St. James, Louisiana, where it will then be distributed to refineries along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast.

During the refining process, crude oil transported by the Bayou Bridge Pipeline will be transformed into a host of useful consumer and industrial products such as gasoline, home heating oil, petrochemicals, and other materials, including the plastic bag you use to carry your groceries home.

Could some of these finished products end up in China? Of course, like most commodities, refined petroleum products are bought and sold in a global marketplace. But will all of these products be exported?

No, for the same reason every Louisiana crawfish isn’t sent to Scandinavia or every Florida orange to Argentina, not all domestically-produced petroleum products are shipped abroad because a robust domestic market for them exists right here at home.