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Report: Texas court stops vote on Carlyle-backed oil export facility

A Texas appellate court March 19 issued a temporary injunction to stop officials in Corpus Christi, Texas, from approving a contract with Carlyle Group LP-backed firm Lone Star Ports LLC to build a crude export facility, according to a March 19 report from Reuters.

Officials were scheduled to vote March 19 on a plan to lease 200 acres to the company on Harbor Island, but a former port commissioner said the public agenda for the meeting was improper and violated the state's open meeting law.

Port officials have filed to a motion to dismiss the stay, Reuters said.

Lone Star Ports, which is Carlyle's joint venture with Berry Contracting LP, is heading up the Harbor Island terminal's development. Crude pipelines owned by Epic Midstream Holdings LP and Harvest Midstream Co. will interconnect with the Gulf Coast facility to provide more than 1 million barrels of oil per day from Texas' Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.

The terminal is expected to begin operating in late 2020 and involves a dredging project that would bring the main channel to a 75-foot depth to enable very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, to sail from Harbor Island.

Currently, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is the only facility in the U.S. capable of handling fully loaded VLCCs.