June 11, 2019
In years to come, Corpus Christi will emerge as the top crude exporting hub in the US.
That’s the prediction from energy analysts at Wood Mackenzie in a new long-term report on oil exports for the next ten years.
It begins with the $360 million dredging of the Port of Corpus Christi that’s getting underway — it will give the port an edge over Houston and Beaumont in the coming years, as will the pipeline buildout set to bring oil and gas to the Corpus area in an increasing amount.
“Lower 48 crude output is set to rise 4 million barrels per day in the next five years,” Wood Mackenzie said in a Tuesday news release.
Corpus has also benefited from export restrictions that were lifted in 2015.
“Since oil shipments abroad began to take off in early 2016, the largest restraint on continued growth has been a lack of infrastructure and terminal capacity. Gulf Coast hubs for export developed in Houston, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and along the Mississippi River in Louisiana, but most terminals are limited in size.”
Now, operators are looking to Very Large Crude Carriers, for which Corpus Christi is preparing.
“About half a dozen companies have proposed building new export facilities that are capable of fully loading a VLCC.
“Speculation around which projects will cross the finish line persists.
“Once the dust settles, our base case foresees three of those fully-capable terminals will be constructed,” the analysts said.
“Two of the three winning facilities are in the Corpus Christi area, solidifying our view that the region will emerge as the top crude export hub next decade.”