“Of the 10 or so projects that have been announced, not all would be completed, simply because they aren’t needed,” said Sandy Fielden, director of research for Morningstar Inc.
Some, though, will be needed as the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, or LOOP, is currently the only export facility in the U.S. that can completely fill up these mega-tankers, to ship barrels around the world. LOOP may not play an important role in U.S. crude exports in the long-term, especially if facilities are built in Texas where production zones lie, said John Coleman, an analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
|The Carlyle Group/Port of Corpus Christi||Harbor Island, Corpus Christi Bay, Texas||N/A||Late 2020|
|Trafigura||~13 miles off Corpus Christi, Texas||1.44m b/d||In 2021|
|Enterprise Products||~35 miles off the coast of Freeport, Texas||2m b/d||N/A|
|Tallgrass/Drexel||Near mouth of Mississippi River||N/A||By 3Q 2021|
|Buckeye/Phillips 66/Marathon||Ingleside, Texas||N/A||By
|Enbridge/Oiltanking||~30 miles off Freeport, Texas||2m b/d||N/A|
|Sentinel Midstream||~30 miles off Freeport, Texas||N/A||N/A|
|Phillips 66||Outer Continental Shelf Matagorda Island Area TX4 lease blocks 698 and 699||1.92m b/d||N/A|
|Jupiter||~6 miles offshore of Brownsville, Texas||~1m b/d||2H 2021|
|Energy Transfer||Off the Gulf Coast connecting to Nederland facility||N/A||N/A|
|*Flint Hills Resources||Ingleside, Texas||N/A||N/A|
|*Project to enable existing facility to handle VLCCs|
It’s not so easy to complete projects. Several have already faced regulatory hurdles this year. The U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration suspended the review process for both Enbridge Inc.’s and Enterprise’s port applications. Officials also delayed the review process for Trafigura Group Ltd.’s Texas Gulf Terminals.
Jupiter Energy Group pushed the startup of its terminal, which is backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, by a year because it hasn’t secured base shippers or approvals from the Port of Brownsville, according to Jupiter Energy Group CEO Tom Ramsey.
Only five projects are in the permitting process — those planned by Enterprise, Enbridge/Oiltanking, Trafigura, Phillips 66 and Sentinel Energy Services Inc., according to the Maritime Administration.
Sufficient export infrastructure must be built along the Texas Gulf Coast, said a Texas Gulf Terminals representative.
A Phillips 66 spokesman said the company’s plans have not changed, a Flint Hills Resources LLC spokesman said it continues to advance its project and Port of Corpus Christi officials were not immediately available for comment.
“In our view, there is not going to be one winner in this race. There is room in this market to support two to three total VLCC terminals and that won’t include LOOP,” said Coleman.