NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Jupiter MLP LLC, a Dallas-based logistics company, has secured permits to expand a crude export dock at the Port of Brownsville in Texas, the latest in a series of moves made by U.S. companies to tap into booming overseas shipments.
The expanded dock space will be able to accommodate Suezmax-size vessels, the company said in a statement Thursday.
Privately-held Jupiter has also begun the permitting process to build an offshore supertanker loading facility six miles (9.6 km) off the coast of Texas.
The facility will be connected to the expanded dock, and will be able to load a supertanker or VLCC, the largest oil tankers which can ship some 2 million barrels of oil, within 48 hours. The terminal would be served by a Permian Basin pipeline.
The company is currently evaluating several co-investment proposals and potential off-take agreements, Jupiter executive John Calce said. The projects won’t be completed until 2020 at the earliest, Calce said.
U.S. crude exports have surged since Washington lifted a decades-old ban in late 2015, hitting a record 2.6 million barrels per day last week.
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately-owned crude terminal in the United States, and Enterprise Products Partners LP have both been testing crude supertanker capabilities over the past two months. Last year, Occidental Petroleum Corp’s Ingleside terminal at Corpus Christi test-loaded a supertanker.
The port of Brownsville is close to Texas’s Permian Basin and serves as a gateway of sorts into the Mexican fuel market.
Production in the Permian, the largest U.S. oilfield, has been the biggest driver of U.S. shale output and is expected to rise to a record 3.28 million bpd in June.
In 2017, Mexico was the destination for more than 1 million bpd of petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel, worth over $23 billion compared with 880,000 bpd in 2016. (Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw and Devika Krishna Kumar Editing by Susan Thomas)