Port would be able to load massive supertankers with Permian, Eagle Ford  oil

The country’s largest oil port wants to begin exporting crude, becoming a part of the growing U.S. oil export business.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is located about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana, directly south of New Orleans. Standing in 110 feet of water, LOOP is the only U.S. port that can handle the massive oil tankers preferred in global oil shipping. Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) can hold cargoes of around 2 million barrels of oil and are about 1,000 feet long.

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Looks to Reverse Course and Export U.S. Crude

Source: Louisianan Offshore Oil Port

300 MBOPD of export capacity could be ready in just months

LOOP is currently gauging interest from shipping companies regarding exports from the facility, according to Reuters. Exports would not impact imports from the port, which has been operational for more than three decades.

According to Bloomberg, adding export capacity would not require a large overhaul of the port’s facilities, but instead would need only minor modifications. If LOOP makes these modifications, it may be able to load crude onto VLCCs by early 2018. According to Bloomberg, LOOP can export around 300 MBOPD, or 41% of all U.S. crude exports last week.

Corpus Christi also wants to export oil

LOOP will be competing with Corpus Christi, which was the primary crude export hub in the U.S., according to Bloomberg. The port recently approved a $350 million dredging project to deepen its channel. Currently, most ships transporting crude from Corpus Christi are Aframax-size vessels. These ships hold around 600,000 barrels of crude. The dredging project will allow Corpus Christi to handle Suezmax tankers which hold about 1 million barrels each. While Occidental’s Ingleside Energy Center near Corpus Christi received its first VLCC earlier this year, the port is not deep enough for a fully-laden VLCC.

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Looks to Reverse Course and Export U.S. Crude

Exports up eleven-fold, still rising

Growing U.S. oil production means companies are now looking to export American oil overseas. While the U.S. has exported a small amount of oil for many years, volumes exported have increased sharply in the last few years. In 2011, the U.S. exported an average of 47 MBOPD. By 2016, that number had grown eleven-fold to 520 MBOPD, and continues to rise. Additional export infrastructure would almost certainly allow shipments to grow further, letting U.S. crude power locations around the world.
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Looks to Reverse Course and Export U.S. Crude

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