- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

FORT FOURCHON, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is seeking customers for a planned service that will send crude to Texas refineries.

The project is intended to bring back the market that was cut off when the Houston-to-Houma pipeline was reversed two years ago, LOOP spokesman Terrance R. Coleman tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1QbyGJF).

The pipeline began sending oil from Texas to Louisiana in 2013. During the previous 33 years, the pipeline sent oil from Louisiana to Texas.

The new project would re-establish LOOP’s reach, giving the Gulf of Mexico crudes a bigger market, Coleman said. LOOP believes there is demand for the Gulf’s medium-sour crudes, which have a higher sulfur content.

LOOP has seen the number of foreign tankers offloading crude at its deepwater port fall, along with U.S. imports.



Earlier this year, LOOP began selling storage space to traders who needed a place to park their crude while waiting for prices to recover. The facility also is adding 1.1 million barrels of storage capacity at Clovelly, giving LOOP 10.1 million barrels of above-ground storage. The facility also can store 60 million barrels underground.

Coleman said there is a limit to how much sweet crude the refiners can run, and LOOP believes that will create demand for the medium-sour crude flowing into LOOP from fields in the Gulf.

The oil port is seeking commitments from prospective shippers to use the facility’s proposed marine vessel crude oil loading services. The new services would connect LOOP’s Clovelly Hub in Galliano to its deepwater port, which is 17 miles offshore from Port Fourchon.

The proposed marine vessel loading services could begin service in 2018.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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