Buckeye Partners and Trafigura Trading have announced the first shipment of crude oil by a Suezmax from the Buckeye Texas Hub terminal located along the ship channel in the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, US.
Recently completed modifications now allow the terminal to berth Suezmaxes, enabling an incremental 1 mill barrels of crude oil to be exported each month from the terminal.
The Suezmax ‘Astra’, which completed loading at the terminal on 31st March, was chartered by Motiva Enterprises of Houston, Texas.
“Buckeye Texas Hub has become a premier location providing marine terminal services, allowing growing US energy exports access to global markets,” said Khalid Muslih, executive vice president of Buckeye and president of Global Marine Terminals. “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.”
“North American supplies have launched the US onto the world stage as a new crude provider. Upgrading the terminal’s deepwater 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.
The terminal is operated and 80% owned by Buckeye and 20% owned by Trafigura, with the latter retaining exclusive throughput rights. It has about 7 mill barrels of storage capacity for liquid petroleum products, including a refrigerated and compressed LPG storage complex, pipeline connectivity for receiving crude oil and condensate production from the Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays, five vessel berths, including three deepwater berths with the capability to accommodate Suezmaxes, and two 25,000 barrels per day condensate splitters.
These capabilities allow Trafigura the maximum flexibility to market the full portfolio of crude and products to customers located as near as the Caribbean and Latin America and as far afield as China, the company said.
Also looking to load Suezmaxes is Enterprise Products Partners, which has acquired a 65-acre waterfront site on the Houston Ship Channel to expand its Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal (EHT).
This includes the construction of at least two deepwater docks capable of accommodating Suezmaxes.
Located immediately to the east of EHT, the purchased property features two existing docks, dredging infrastructure that will be used for maintenance and dock expansion at the site, and land for expanding Enterprise’s marine facilities on land.
“As one of the last waterfront properties for sale adjacent to our existing ship channel assets, this strategic acquisition complements our world-class EHT marine terminal and strengthens our position as an industry leader in providing waterborne access,” AJ Jim Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner, said. “The growth opportunities available at the 65-acre site enhance our ability to accommodate growing US hydrocarbon production, which is increasingly destined for global markets.”