November 09, 2020 [Argus Media] – NuStar Energy is seeing “indications of recovery” in crude exports at its terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Crude throughputs at the facility averaged 380,000 b/d in the third quarter, an increase of 24pc from 306,000 b/d in the second quarter, the company said today in an earnings call. The increase comes as global demand started to recover after Covid-19-related shut downs earlier in the year.
Volumes at NuStar’s Permian crude pipeline system in west Texas also moved higher in the third quarter in part because producers are bringing drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells into service.
NuStar Permian volumes averaged 422,000 b/d in the third quarter, up from 401,000 b/d in the second quarter. November nominations are slightly higher at 428,000 b/d. The company expects production to increase modestly next year and exit 2021 at 470,000 b/d.
NuStar last year expanded capacity on the Permian system by 100,000 b/d to 560,000 b/d and added 34 well connections. A large portion of the Permian crude moves to the Corpus Christi export facility.
NuStar said earlier this week that it will sell two terminals in Texas City, Texas, to BWC Terminals for $106mn. The sale includes a 2.7mn bl facility with 70 tanks and three docks which store blendstocks, vacuum gasoil (VGO), chemicals and other products. The second terminal is a 130,000 bl oil products facility.
Corpus Christi has become the top location for US crude exports after three new long-haul pipelines went into service moving Permian crude to the port.
Overall US crude exports held steady above 3.2mn b/d in September, showing resilience in the face of the Covid-19-related headwinds according to the latest Census Bureau trade data. China was the top buyer of US crude for a fifth consecutive month.
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