Buckeye, Trafigura bring Suezmax tanker to U.S. shale oil port

By Luke Geiver | April 07, 2018

A Suezmax class vessel capable of shipping 1 million barrels of crude oil can now load along the ship channel in the Port of Corpus Christi. Buckeye Partners LP and Trafigura Trading LLC, announced the first Suezmax tanker—Suezmax Mt Astra—recently completed a loading in the channel. The ship was chartered by Motiva Enterprises LLC. The tankers can move crude from the Permian or Eagle Ford to the Caribbean, Latin America or as far as China.

Buckeye owns 80 percent of a Terminal along the port. The facility can store 7 million barrels of liquids.

Khalid Muslih, executive vice president of Buckey, said the new Texas hub allows U.S. energy exports to global markets.

“North American supplies have launched the U.S. onto the world stage as a new crude provider,” said Corey Prologo, head of oil trading and director for Trafigura North America. Trafigura owns 20 percent of the Buckeye terminal. “Upgrading the terminal’s deep-water 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,” Prologo said.

The Port of Corpus Christi has undergone a major transformation in the past three years since the U.S. lifted an export ban on U.S.-produced crude. The Port has deepened its ship channel to allow for larger vessels. Numerous entities have invested in storage and docking infrastructure at the Port. Occidental Petroleum has opened its own dock along the port to accomodate its shale-oil export opportunities. For more on the Port of Corpus Christi's rise to the nation's shale oil export hub, view the full story here