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Enterprise, Enbridge to jointly build VLCC crude export terminal off Houston


Seaway pipeline owners agree to team up on SPOT project

Enbridge to build new 15-million-barrel oil storage terminal

  • Author
  • Meghan Gordon
  • Editor
  • Jeff Mower
  • Commodity
  • Oil Shipping

Washington — Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge have agreed to jointly develop a deepwater crude oil export terminal offshore Houston, the latest sign of consolidation in the crowded field of US Gulf Coast export projects.

Enbridge plans to buy interest in Enterprise's already proposed Sea Port Oil Terminal, subject to the project receiving a federal deepwater port license. Both companies would focus on fully subscribing the SPOT export capacity before Enbridge possibly pursues its own Texas COLT project later, Enbridge said in a statement.

Enbridge and Enterprise are 50/50 partners in the 850,000 b/d Seaway Pipeline system that moves US and Canadian crude to the Gulf Coast.

"It makes a lot of sense to leverage this strong business relationship in moving forward with an offshore deepwater export facility," Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said Monday. "We can help each other. More importantly, this agreement combines the talents and expertise of both companies in order to help customers in the US Gulf Coast."

Seaway last month announced an open season to gauge interest in expanding capacity by 200,000 b/d.


Separately Monday, Enbridge announced plans to build a new 15 million-barrel storage terminal at Jones Creek, where Seaway ends. Barnes said it would provide access to Houston-area refineries and existing and future export facilities.

"These two significant steps will benefit customers in the US Gulf Coast region, giving them more options to get their product to market," Barnes said.

The SPOT single-point mooring buoy system off Brazoria County would be able to fully load two VLCCs at a time at an overall rate of 2 million b/d, according to Enterprise's application to the US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration. Enterprise made a final investment decision on the project in July after securing long-term agreements with Chevron, including unspecified transport and storage at Enterprise's 8.3 million-barrel ECHO terminal in Houston.

Enterprise has said the port will have access to over 6 million b/d of crude supply and more than 300 million barrels of storage, of which nearly 50 million is owned by Enterprise.

If additional US crude export demand exists, Enbridge would then pursue its Texas COLT project offshore Freeport.

Only one Gulf of Mexico port, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, can currently fully load VLCCs without lightering from smaller vessels. Eight VLCC-capable projects are competing to move the next wave of US crude exports with deepwater ports off Houston, Corpus Christi and southeast Louisiana, although not all of the proposed capacity will be needed.

Enterprise has said it expects to receive a federal permit for SPOT in the second quarter of 2020. Construction will take up to two years, with some work getting starting before the final approval, executives said.

-- Meghan Gordon,

-- Edited by Jeff Mower,

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