Nation’s Largest Offshore Oil Export Terminal Set to Transform U.S. Energy Landscape

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Houston’s Enterprise Products Partners L.P. has reportedly made enormous progress in creating the nation’s largest offshore oil export terminal, the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), on receiving a deepwater port license from the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), reports Marine Insight.

Development of SPOT

The license permits Enterprise to proceed with the development of SPOT. Once operational, it is projected to load about two million crude oil barrels daily, making it the U.S.’s largest offshore oil export terminal.

With U.S. crude oil exports at about 4 million BPD, SPOT delivers a safer, more efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective way to provide crude oil to international markets.

The project also yielded more than 30,000 pages of documentation.

The SPOT offshore platform, planned to be located approximately 30 nm off Brazoria County on the Texas coast, will function 24/7.

It will boast two Single Point Mooring (abbreviated SPM) buoys that can load two supertankers at once, at about 85,000 barrels an hour.

The platform is also expected to offer access to more than 40 distinct crude oil grades, including the Midland WTI, and greatly minimize emissions compared to the current industry practices.

Teague also estimates that SPOT can help reduce crude vapour emissions by 95% and lower greenhouse gases by 65%.

In 2024, after encountering lawsuits from environmental parties, a U.S. appeals court upheld the facility’s approval, stating that the Enterprise Products Partners facility had satisfied the environmental review criteria.

The project’s four-year ecological review, headed by MARAD and the U.S. Coast Guard, involved many federal agencies and obtained approvals from the State of Texas.

MARAD’s record of decision highlighted that the assignment is considered nationally significant owing to its potential benefits to employment, economic growth, and the resilience and security of the U.S. energy infrastructure.

The port will also reduce the ecological impact compared to other means of exporting U.S. crude.

It stated that this would help provide a more efficient but less impactful crude oil transport hub in the U.S. offshore waters.

The port will also utilize the best available tech, incorporating features like autonomous shutdown valves, HIPPs, emergency shutdown, fire and gas detection, safety controls, and process control systems to maintain operational safety and security.

Enterprise Products Partners stated last year that it is eyeing a 2027 beginning date for the terminal.

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Source: Marine Insight