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In another little milestone heralding the acceleration of U.S. energy exports, Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) said that Friday it loaded its first contracted LPG cargo on the Commander, a very large gas carrier (VLGC) that departed the Freeport, Texas, terminal on Dec. 16.

Freeport Up and Running: Phillips 66 Ships First LPG Cargo Abroad

Phillips 66 Freeport LPG Export Facility

The company said that the Freeport LPG Export Terminal is now fully operational and has the ability to simultaneously load two ships with refrigerated propane and butane at a combined rate of 36,000 barrels per hour. Supply is sourced from the Phillips 66 Partners’ Sweeny fractionator and Clemens storage facility, which is connected by pipeline to the Mont Belvieu Hub. Phillips reports on its website that the terminal will have an initial export capacity of 150,000 BPD of LPG.

“The startup of the Freeport LPG Export Terminal is the culmination of a four-year effort to develop a new U.S. Gulf Coast natural gas liquids (NGL) market hub that also includes Phillips 66 Partners’ 100,000 barrel-per-day Sweeny fractionator and 7.5 million barrel Clemens storage facility,” said Phillips 66 CEO Greg Garland.

Phillips 66 said the objective of the Freeport LPG Export Terminal is to supply petrochemical, heating, and transportation markets globally. The export facility was developed to satisfy the international demand for affordable U.S. natural gas liquids.

“The new liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) export terminal gives customers the ability to place multi-grade LPG products directly into global markets through Port Freeport, which provides immediate blue water access with minimal congestion,” Garland said in a press release.

Expecting U.S. production to continue to grow, Phillips 66 said it is actively evaluating further NGL fractionation and infrastructure alternatives along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Freeport Up and Running: Phillips 66 Ships First LPG Cargo Abroad

Source: Phillips 66

The company said the Freeport terminal is located “away from the congestion of the Houston Ship Channel” and its location on the Old Brazos River within three mile proximity (5 hours transit time) to open water allows for increased reliability and reduced chance of demurrage, the company said. The Freeport LPG Export Terminal is situated for additional expansion in the 400-foot-wide, 45-foot-deep channel, the company said.

Phillips 66 traces its footprint in NGLs all the way back to 1927 with an initial stake in fractionation at the Burbank field in Osage County, Oklahoma.

In 2015 Phillips started operations at a new 100,000 barrels per day (BPD) NGL fractionator located in Old Ocean, Texas. Sweeny Fractionator One1 is adjacent to the Sand Hills Pipeline1 and is supported by 250 miles of new pipelines providing connectivity to Mont Belvieu, as well as a multimillion-barrel storage cavern complex.

Phillips 66 said it has approximately 200,000 BPD of fractionator capacity with ownership interests in:

  • 22.5 percent of Gulf Coast Fractionators, which owns a fractionating facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas
  • 12.5 percent of the Enterprise Mont Belvieu fractionator
  • 40 percent of the Conway fractionator, in Conway, Kansas

Phillips 66 reports that it holds nearly 1.4 million BPD of NGL and LPG throughput capacity across 5,000 miles of pipeline and 10 million barrels of existing and planned storage capacity. Phillips 66 Partners owns 100 percent of Sweeny Fractionator One and a direct one-third ownership interest in the Sand Hills Pipeline.


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