From Bloomberg

Crude oil shipment would be biggest ever from the port

Offshore terminal LOOP recently began exporting cargoes

A 2 million barrel-carrying supertanker arrived for the first time at a jetty in Texas City as surging U.S. oil output drives up incentives to export.

The Nave Quasar, a Very Large Crude Carrier, signaled from the jetty at the Gulf of Mexico terminal on Friday morning, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

The tanker is being brought into Enterprise Products Partners LP’s Texas City terminal to determine measurements for future VLCC loadings, at least of partial cargoes, according to a person familiar with the matter. Nave Quasar will not load any supplies at this time for shipment, the person said. This site’s water depth, also known as draft, needs to be increased to about 76 feet from 45 feet to enable supertankers to fully load. The company said it was too premature to discuss the project.

While profits from shipping U.S. oil overseas are surging on paper, the logistics to do so remain a challenge in a country that was set up for decades as an importer. The price of crude at Houston earlier this week tumbled to a record discount of more than $4 a barrel relative to Brent, the international benchmark. Freight costs on a very large crude carrier for delivery to Asia would probably be less than half that, highlighting the potential return for companies with the ability to get oil onto ships.

Shipments on VLCCs have proven difficult from U.S. Gulf Coast ports where waters can be too shallow once carriers are fully loaded, meaning cargoes move on smaller ships. Another carrier, the Anne, tested at the Port of Corpus Christi last May but didn’t collect a cargo.

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