Oxy to test VLCC crude loading at Texas port


Oxy to test VLCC crude loading at Texas port

Occidental is planning to test loading a VLCC-size ship at its crude terminal at Ingleside, Texas, near Corpus Christi later this month.

If successful, the ship would be the first of its size to load at a US port in the Lower 48 states.

The ship is scheduled to arrive in late May and will remain for two days allowing the company’s engineers to assess if Occidental can modify the terminal to regularly load VLCCs in the future, a company spokesman said today.

The test comes amid rising interest in exporting US crude and growing domestic production, especially out of the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico.

The Port of Corpus Christi, which is already authorized to dredge to a 52ft draft, would need to go down to about 70ft to accommodate fully loaded VLCCs. But unlike other ports in the region, the waters off of the coast taper quickly, meaning the port would have to dredge less than three miles of channel to connect the US Gulf to Harbor Island in Corpus.

In the meantime, a terminal could partially load a VLCC and then finish filling it up by reverse lightering on the open sea using smaller vessels. Previous VLCC exports have relied solely on reverse lightering, but partial loading at the dock would reduce the number of expensive lightering trips needed.

Occidental can ship crude from the Permian basin along the 250,000 b/d Cactus pipeline and through the 660,000 b/d Eagle Ford midstream system to Corpus Christi. Plains All American Pipeline is expanding capacity on the Cactus pipeline, which runs from the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas to Corpus, to about 390,000 b/d.

New and existing coastal loading facilities and pipelines are aiding a surge in US crude exports.

Since the previous administration of President Barack Obama lifted 40-year old restrictions on most US oil exports in December 2015, US light oil has been exported to countries around the globe, including several in Asia.

Total US crude exports averaged about 834,000 b/d in March, falling from about 1.1mn b/d in February, according to the most recent trade data from the US Census Bureau.

Source: Argus

Source from : Port News