May 11, 2020 [Houston Chronicle] – Crude oil prices temporarily dipping below zero are not phasing plans by two pipeline companies to build an offshore export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico about 30 miles south of Brazoria County.
Houston pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners and Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge both told the Houston Chronicle that they still remain committed to developing a joint venture project known as the Sea Port Oil Terminal, or SPOT.
The offshore crude oil export terminal will be able to accommodate supertankers known as Very Large Crude Carriers, or VLCCs, capable of hauling 2 million barrels of crude oil in a single shipment.
Enterprise and Enbridge stand by the project at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has cut global demand for crude oil, created a supply glut and caused prices to plummet. The situation temporarily caused prices for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for crude oil, to go negative in April and have remained below $20 per barrel since then.
SPOT, a federal permit from the Maritime Administration, or MARAD, is required before the offshore terminal and the onshore Oyster Creek Storage Terminal can be built.
Working to review SPOT’s application under a one-year clock that has been complicated due to the coronavirus pandemic, MARAD officials said Friday that they are extending a public comment period for the project through May 31.
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