Three new pipelines coming online in the second half of 2019 will deliver an onslaught of crude to the port of Corpus Christi. According to ESAI Energy’s recent North America Watch, local refinery demand for light sweet crude will remain unchanged, so these new flows will double the surplus crude available for export.
In the report, ESAI Energy forecasts crude oil production in the Permian Basin to accelerate after long-awaited pipeline takeaway capacity is added late next year. With most of the new pipelines delivering crude oil to Corpus Christi, terminals at the port are also expanding their loading capabilities to get ready for this flood of crude oil. The port has already reported record tonnage in 2018, with crude oil exports averaging close to 400 000 bpd so far this year. Over the second half of 2019, ESAI Energy projects an additional 400 000 bpd will be available at Corpus Christi terminals to export.
“The timing of port expansions will be critical as pipeline flows begin”, notes Elisabeth Murphy, analyst at ESAI Energy. “Bottlenecks and congestion have so far eluded Corpus Christi but could easily build up with this much crude arriving at the docks.”