12-07-2018

Fourth-ever crude export sails from LOOP after record-setting load time

Another record-setting crude export out of the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) sailed Wednesday afternoon and is headed to the Caribbean after spending about four days loading, according to Platts vessel-tracking software.

The Anne, a VLCC with a capacity of 2.02 million barrels of crude, is due on the Dutch Antilles island of St. Eustatius, on Tuesday and was north of Puerto Rico on Monday, according to cFlow, Platts trade flow software.

A representative from LOOP did not return a request for comment Monday.

LOOP loaded the tanker about two days faster than its previous best, which sailed only two weeks previously. Platts cFlow showed Anne arriving at LOOP on July 1 and the tanker departed on July 4. That compares with seven days at LOOP for Shaden and 10 days for Nave Photon and with six days for Eagle Vancouver, which were the first, second and third VLCCs to load at LOOP earlier this year, respectively.

Four days is much faster than other VLCC load-times in the US Gulf Coast, which must either be partially or fully loaded using reverse lightering. Typically, US Gulf Coast VLCC loadings take on average 10 days to complete, according to a recent presentation by an Occidental Petroleum representative. However, as export terminals increase their capacities and fine tune their loading procedures, those load times are shortening.

By comparison, the FPMC C MELODY, another VLCC was recently partially loaded in the US Gulf Coast at Enterprise Products’ Texas City dock on the Houston Ship Channel. That vessel arrived for loading in Texas City on June 21 and then moved to the Offshore Galveston Lightering Zone, where the remainder of the cargo was loaded via ship-to-ship transfer. FPMC C MELODY set sail on June 28 and is expected to arrive in Sikka, India, on August 9. FPMC C MELODY also made a one-day stop in St. Eustatius, where there are a number of blending and storage facilities.

It is not known what grade of oil was loaded on to Anne. However, previously-loaded VLCCs at LOOP were believed to have been cargoes of Mars, a US Gulf of Mexico medium sour produced by Shell and BP.

Source: Platts

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