Illustration courtesy Bluewater Texas

From The Maritime Executive 12/17/2020 6:06:00 AM

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority Commission has approved a lease and pipeline facilitation for the Bluewater Texas Terminals (BWTX) offshore deepwater loading terminal, a 50/50 joint venture between Phillips 66 and Trafigura. The project will help boost American crude oil exports to the world market.

The proposal consists of two single point mooring (SPM) buoys located approximately 21 nautical miles from the entrance to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The terminal location has sufficient water depth to fully load very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs). This puts it in a unique category with the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), an SPM terminal that is currently the only US facility with this capability. With two SPM buoys, BWTX would have a loading rate of up to 80,000 barrels per hour – enough for a throughput of around 16 VLCCs per month. Crude oil from the Permian and Eagle Ford Basins in Texas will supply the terminal through pipelines connected to a multipurpose crude oil storage terminal near Taft, Texas.

The port rental defines the conditions for BWTX’s access to existing pipeline corridors and port authority ownership for the project. BWTX will also lease 12 acres for an operating facility on Harbor Island.

“The Port Commission’s approval of this agreement with Bluewater Texas Terminals marks another major turning point in the development of American energy exports, not only for the Port of Corpus Christi but also for the nation,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi . “Blue Water Texas Terminals will likely be the only offshore loading facility in Texas and will undoubtedly cement the Port of Corpus Christi position as the leading US energy export gateway.”

BWTX is currently in the approval phase and is subject to a final investment decision by its supporters.