Deepwater Texas Oil Port Developer Seeks MARAD License

Deepwater Texas Oil Port Developer Seeks MARAD License
Sentinel Midstream seeks to construct and operate an oil export facility off the coast of Freeport, Texas.

Dallas-based Sentinel Midstream, LLC reported Monday that its Texas GulfLink, LLC subsidiary last week submitted a license application with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to construct and operate a deepwater crude oil export facility off the coast of Freeport, Texas.

According to Sentinel, the proposed Texas GulfLink terminal would be capable of fully loading very large crude carrier (VLCC) vessels. Currently, the U.S. is home to just one deepwater crude oil port facility: the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP).

The Texas GulfLink project calls for developing an onshore oil storage terminal connected via 42-inch-diameter pipeline to a manned offshore platform approximately 30 miles off the Gulf Coast, Sentinel stated. Oil would be transported from the platform to two single point mooring buoys, which would enable VLCCs to receive 2 million barrels of crude oil loaded at rates up to 85,000 barrels per hour, the firm added.

“With the submission of the license application to MARAD, Texas GulfLink has completed a major milestone towards receiving approval to construct and operate a deepwater crude oil export facility,” Jeff Ballard, Sentinel’s president and CEO, said in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. “As the neutral infrastructure export solution for shippers, Texas GulfLink will provide a necessary crude oil export outlet for the expected increase in U.S. crude oil production.”

Sentinel added that Cresta Fund Management is providing project financing and Abadie-Williams served as Texas GulfLink’s primary engineering and regulatory consultant.

“We are pleased with the commercial support Texas GulfLink has received and the continued strong interest from shippers who recognize the need for additional export capacity,” noted Chris Rozzell, Cresta managing partner. “By reducing capacity constraints in Gulf Coast ports and creating an economic oil export outlet, Texas GulfLink will allow U.S. oil producers to continue to develop and increase U.S. oil production without potential production curtailments due to lack of export capacity.”

Other firms vying to develop deepwater crude oil port facilities offshore Texas include Trafiugura US Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. Trafigura’s Texas Gulf Terminals project would be located near Corpus Christi. Enterprise’s Sea Port of Texas (SPOT) project would be located offshore Freeport. Additionally, Lone Star Ports, LLC – a joint venture of The Carlyle Group and The Berry Group – have proposed building an onshore export facility near Corpus Christi that could load VLCCs.


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