Global energy trader eyes crude terminal project to move TX shale

By Luke Geiver | December 15, 2017

Vitol, a global energy and commodity trading company that trades more than 7 million barrels of crude oil per day, has begun talks with Harvest Pipeline Co. on a new crude oil terminal located near Corpus Christi, Texas. As the first energy trader to ever export U.S.-based shale oil following the removal of the export ban on U.S. crude, Vitol believes U.S. shale oil will only grow in demand throughout the world.

“Crude demand, particularly in emerging markets, continues to grow and U.S. shale has an important role to play in satisfying this demand,” said Mark Couling, head of crude oil for Vitol.

Through its agreement with Harvest—an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy Co.), the project would create a new crude oil terminal including storage and docking. The parties are also looking at the possibility of building a private dock that can be fed crude via a 16-inch lateral pipeline.

Harvest believes its Midway junction line located in the Eagle Ford would be able to send barrels from the Eagle Ford to Corpus Christi. Permian barrels would also benefit from the new terminal, according to Harvest.

“The agreement between Harvest Pipeline and Vitol is an extraordinary opportunity to help satisfy the growing need for export capacity along the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Sean Kolassa, president of Harvest.

Couling also said the new project, if constructed, will help U.S. producers reach export markets more efficiently.

Vitol generated more than $150 billion in 2016 and at any given time could have up to 250 ships transporting cargo. The Swiss-company’s main clients include national oil companies, multinationals, leading industrial and chemical companies and the world’s largest airlines.