Record Number of Supertankers Loading at Louisiana Offshore Oil Port
(Reuters) – Medium-sour crudes from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are being snapped up by overseas buyers, paving way for a record six supertankers to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in a matter of weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. The six scheduled loadings in late May and early June would double the record of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) reached in December. An unusual influx of Gulf of Mexico crudes to the U.S. deepwater export port and weakening prices are contributing to the exports, according to one of the people close to the matter.
America’s Biggest Oil Port Wants to Be a Two-Way Street
The biggest U.S. oil-import hub wants to grab a piece of surging North American crude exports. Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the only terminal along the U.S. Gulf Coast able to handle a fully laden supertanker, is gauging interest from shippers in sending crude overseas on the world’s biggest ships by early next year. The port would continue to take in foreign oil, the port’s owner LOOP LLC said in an emailed statement Monday. Ports are competing to fill the needs of domestic oil producers looking for outlets for their growing supply. At the same time, the boom from U.S. shale fields and Canadian oil-sands mines has reduced refiners’ need for imported oil. LOOP’s ability to handle tankers capable of carrying 2 million barrels in their holds would reduce shipping costs for companies looking to send crude to refiners in Asia. “LOOP is the most obvious place for U.S. crude exports since as a deepwater port it makes it more manageable to load up a large ship such as a VLCC,” Sandy Fielden, director of commodities and energy research at Morningstar Inc., said by phone from Austin, Texas. “It makes huge sense from a logistical perspective as it will allow for more efficient cargo shipments.”Upload News