July 17–Houston’sEnterprise Products Partners said it’s planning to build a new oil export terminal offshore of the Texas Gulf Coast.
Enterprise wants to load oil for global export much faster now that it’s begun servicing major vessels called Very Large Crude Carriers that can hold about 2 million barrels per shipment, roughly twice the volume of typical crude vessels. These vessels are headed to Asia and other global markets.
Enterprise loaded the first VLCC to ever dock at a Texas port in June when it took on an oil shipment in Texas City near Galveston. Enterprise said it’s loading a second VLCC, the Eagle Victoria vessel, this week. Because of water depths, Enterprise can only fill the VLCC up with about 1.1 million barrels and the rest of the crude is transferred a little offshore in deeper waters from another vessel.
Enterprise wants to build a new export terminal complex about 80 miles offshore of the Houston Ship Channel entryway that’s capable of loading and exporting crude oil at about 85,000 barrels per hour. This new terminal would be built farther offshore so it could load all 2 million barrels without needing another vessel.
“On the heels of our second successful loading of a VLCC at the Texas City terminal, we are now planning to expand our capabilities to load crude oil faster and more cost efficiently without the need for lightering vessels,” said Enterprise CEO Jim Teague.
West Texas’ booming Permian Basin is producing a record volume of more than 3 million barrels of oil a day — about 30 percent of the nation’s total. Much of that oil is being piped to Houston and Corpus Christi hubs for refining and export purposes. The U.S. is exporting more than 2 million barrels of oil daily.
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