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Big step forward for US crude exports: Buckeye adds 1 MMBO incremental monthly export capacity from its Corpus Christi terminal

This morning Buckeye Partners, L.P. (ticker: BPL) and Trafigura Trading LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trafigura Group Pte Ltd, announced the first shipment of crude oil by Suezmax tanker from the Buckeye Texas Hub terminal located along the ship channel in the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.

With the assistance of recently completed modifications, the Buckeye Texas terminal can load Suezmax class vessels, resulting in the capability for an incremental 1 million barrels of crude oil to be exported each month from the terminal.

Motiva Enterprises LLC, headquartered in Houston, Texas, finished loading the Suezmax Mt Astra on March 31.

Buckeye Texas terminal receives Permian and Eagle Ford crude oil, stores, loads tankers for global destinations

The terminal which will service Suezmax sized tankers is operated and 80% owned by Buckeye and 20% owned by Trafigura Trading, with Trafigura retaining exclusive throughput rights.

The terminal includes a refrigerated and compressed LPG storage complex, pipeline connections receiving crude oil and condensate production from the Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays, five vessel berths, including three deep-water berths and the capability to accommodate Suezmax class tankers, and two 25,000 barrels per day condensate splitters.

The entire terminal has approximately 7 million barrels of storage capacity for liquid petroleum products. The terminal’s attributes offer Trafigura flexibility to market the full portfolio of crude and products to customers around the globe.

“We are very excited to have reached this milestone and look forward to additional opportunities to partner with Trafigura to further expand the terminal’s capabilities and serve the region’s rapidly growing energy production.” said Khalid Muslih, Executive Vice President of Buckeye and President of Global Marine Terminals.

“North American supplies have launched the U.S. onto the world stage as a new crude provider.  Upgrading the terminal’s deep-water docks at Corpus Christi will help us to meet the growing demand for this product from European refineries and Far East refineries and petrochemical plants,” said Corey Prologo, Head of Oil Trading and Director for Trafigura North America.

Corps of Engineers widening and deepening Corpus Christi ship channel

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is leading a $327 million Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, which involves widening and deepening the shipping canal.  The project design widens the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to 530 feet, provide additional barge shelves to allow for two-way vessel and barge traffic, and deepen the channel to 54 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW).

As of September 9, 2017, the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) was signed by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority Executive Director John LaRue, and Colonel Lars N. Zetterstrom, Commander, USACE Galveston District.

The PPA was approved unanimously at a special meeting of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission upon which Port Commissioners also approved the acceleration of $32 million in Port funds to the Corps of Engineers to expedite the initial construction phase of the Project.

Port Corpus Christi is the fourth largest port in the US in total tonnage, according to data from Port Corpus Christi.

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