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1st larger crude tanker docks at Moda Midstream's Ingleside terminal in Texas

Moda Midstream LLC's Ingleside Energy Center near the mouth of the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel in Texas has completed an expansion allowing the facility to receive and partially load some of the world's biggest oil tankers.

Casey Nikoloric, a spokeswoman for the company, confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence on Dec. 20 that Moda Midstream had finished installing multiple loading arms at onshore Ingleside terminal for supplying very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, and that a VLCC will be loaded the same day.

The expansion will enable Moda Midstream to load VLCCs with only 1.2 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels of crude because the ship channel is only 45 feet deep. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one VLCC can carry between 1.9 million and 2.2 million barrels of a West Texas Intermediate-type crude.

The Port of Corpus Christi expects to finish a dredging project to widen and deepen the Corpus Christi channel enough to load VLCCs by 2021, but Congress has not fully funded the venture's federal share.

Still, Moda Midstream's finished expansion project should result in transportation cost savings of at least 75 cents per barrel, Port of Corpus Christi COO Sean Strawbridge said in 2017.

Moda Midstream, which is backed by private equity heavyweight EnCap Flatrock Midstream, acquired the Ingleside Energy Center from Occidental Petroleum Corp. earlier in 2018.