(Louisiana Offshore Oil Port) was organized in 1972 as a Delaware corporation and converted to a limited liability company in 1996. Marathon Pipe Line LLC, Murphy Oil Corporation, and Shell Oil Company are LOOP's owners.
The port facility is located in the Gulf of Mexico, eighteen miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, in 110 feet of water. LOOP is the only port in the U.S. capable of offloading deep draft tankers known as Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). Along with offloading crude from VLCC’s, LOOP also offloads smaller tankers.
The port consists of three single-point mooring buoys used for the offloading of crude tankers and a marine terminal consisting of a two-level pumping platform and a three-level control platform. The onshore oil storage facility, twenty-five miles inland (the “Clovelly facility”), is connected to the port complex by a 48-inch diameter pipeline. It provides interim storage for crude oil before it is delivered via connecting pipelines to refineries on the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest.
The oil is stored in eight underground caverns leached out of a naturally occurring salt dome. The caverns are capable of storing approximately 50 million barrels of crude oil (a barrel of oil is equal to 42 U.S. gallons). In 1996, one cavern was dedicated to the MARS stream coming in from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The MARS crude oil system uses the same distribution system used by the foreign barrels. In addition, LOOP has an above-ground tank farm consisting of six 600,000 barrel tanks.
Four pipelines connect the onshore storage facility to refineries in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. LOOP also operates the 53-mile, 48-inch LOCAP pipeline that connects LOOP to CAPLINE at St. James, Louisiana. CAPLINE is a 40-inch pipeline that transports crude oil to several Midwest refineries.
LOOP is connected to over 50 percent of the U.S. refinery capacity and has offloaded over 7 billion barrels of foreign crude oil since it's inception.
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