2-million-barrel ship arrives at Corpus Christi for Permian crude

By Staff | May 30, 2017

A 2-million-barrel opportunity for Permian Basin oil producers floated into the Port of Corpus Christi at the end of May. A Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) arrived at the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center export terminal on May 26, the first crude vessel of its size to dock at a crude oil export facility . Anne, the ship owned by Belgium-based Euronav, is 1,093 feet long and can hold more than 2 million barrels of oil.

Vicki Hollub, president of Occidental Petroleum Corp., said the Oxy center where the VLCC landed could become the premier crude oil export terminal in the U.S. “Permian Basin crude is being exported to Asia, Europe and elsewhere around the world,” she said. “The arrival of the VLCC at our terminal continues to build on our position as the Permian’s largest oil producer, enabling us to load the largest ships with our crude and the crude of other producers.”

The VLCC requires a draft of 66 feet, but the depth at the Port of Corpus Christi is only 47 feet. The VLCC can be partially loaded before another vessel completes the ships load-out once it is further offshore.

The Port of Corpus Christi was the first port used to export U.S.-produced crude in 2015 when the crude oil export ban was lifted. In April of this year, the Suezmax class Cap Romuald set an export record with its 930,000 barrels of crude load.

The Port is in the midst of infrastructure upgrades that it believes will make it the main hub for shale oil exports.

“With a vision to be the energy port of the Americas, it is fitting for yet another milestone in U.S. crude exports to be set at our port,” said Charles Zahn, chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission.

In the next decade, the Port intends to invest $1 billion on upgrades including the widening out of the main channel from 47 feet to 54 feet. The construction of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere is also underway. The bridge will provide increased air draft clearance to 205 feet.