Port of Corpus Christi becoming shale oil hub of North America

By Luke Geiver | November 26, 2018

With two- to three-million new barrels of oil per day expected at the Port of Corpus Christi next year, leadership at the burgeoning shale oil export hub said the appropriate infrastructure is on the way. With major work completed or under way to continue the transformation of the Port of Corpus Christi into a shale oil export hub, the Port recently announced a commitment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In it’s Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan, USACE will appropriate $59 million to the area to help further enhance and deepen the ship channel.

“Widening and deepening the Corpus Christi Ship Channel is a mathematical certainty. Energy markets are taking notice as the majority of incremental U.S. energy production is coming to Corpus Christi and ultimately to the global markets,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port.

In March, the Port agreed to terms with the Corpus Christi Infrastructure to develop an export terminal capable of handling, storing and loading shale oil onto Suezmax vessels. Several major South Texas and West Texas pipelines that terminate at the port have been announced this year as well, including a 730-mile Permian-based pipeline owned by EPIC Midstream.

Very large crude carriers have been tested near the channel in the past year. In October, the Port agreed to terms with The Carlyle Group to develop a major crude oil export terminal on Harbor Island which would become the first onshore terminal capable of service VLCCs. With the help of the Port to ensure producers move Permian oil through Corpus Christi, Carlyle has agreed to construct the infrastructure and manage it. Under the agreement, the Port would receive rental payments, volume-based tariff income, land grants and other proceeds. The terminal would include two loading docks, as well as crude oil tank storage.

“Corpos Christi is certainly where the incremental barrels want to go as we have deep water, availability of land for development and plenty of capacity to absorb the forecasted U.S. energy production growth in oil and gas,” said Charlie Zahn, chairman of the Port.

For more on the evolution of the Port, click here for the full story.