Sentinel sees approval for Gulf Coast deepwater port next year Ship’s crew

The 1 million barrels per day GulfLink project is one of three proposed deepwater oil export terminals along the Gulf Coast pending applications with the US Maritime Administration’s Deepwater Port Licensing Program. All three will be able to handle Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).

By Sheela Tobben (Bloomberg) —

As US crude oil increasingly leaves America’s shores on oversized supertankers, private equity-backed Sentinel Midstream LLC wants to get in the action and commission its new deepwater port in 2026.

The tightly held company’s proposed Texas oil dock, which will service the world’s largest ships, expects to receive all permits by the first quarter of next year, and construction is to follow, said Jeff Ballard, Sentinel’s chief executive officer. Dubbed the Texas GulfLink, the port is expected to handle up to 1 million barrels of oil per day and help usher in the massive growth in US crude exports expected through the end of the decade.

Crude oil shipments from the US Gulf, the country’s main export center, will increase by about 2 million barrels a day to about 5.5 million by 2030, Ballard said in an interview. The so-called Very Large Crude Carriers or VLCCs that will use the dock can transport 2 million barrels of oil.

Historically, the US has only used VLCCs for longer routes, such as between the Gulf Coast and Asia, with shipments to Europe being carried on smaller vessels of up to 1 million barrels. However, the big ships are becoming increasingly popular on even shorter routes, especially as the war in Russia disrupts energy flows and forces buyers to look for alternative suppliers.

Cresta Fund Management-backed Sentinel’s project is one of four proposed ports looking to capitalize on a growing and lucrative US crude oil export market.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

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