Historically Explorer has been an important source of supply for the Midwest region, but as local refining production in the Midwest has increased the need for movements on Explorer has declined.
Explorer is a major refined products pipeline running from the refining centers around Houston and Port Arthur, Texas north to Midwest markets including Dallas, Tulsa, St. Louis, and Chicago.
Explorer is comprised of several segments:
- Port Arthur to Tulsa - 28" line
- Houston to Arlington (Dallas) - 10" line
- Tulsa to Chicago - 24" line
The southern segments (to Tulsa and Arlington) have a combined capacity of 660 thousand barrels/day. The northern segment has a capacity of 450 thousand barrels/day.
The current owners of Explorer are Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum, Sunoco Logistics, and Shell.
Explorer was originally owned and built by eight oil companies: Apco Oil, Cities Services, Continental Oil, Gulf Oil, Phillips Petroleum, Shell, Sun Oil, and Texaco
Operations on the line began in 1972.