Potential oil, products exports drive Texas Gulf Coast terminal projects

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Oiltanking Partners LP, and GT Logistics LLC (GTL) all announced new liquids terminal projects on the Texas Gulf Coast, with GTL explicitly citing possible crude oil exports in describing its facility.

GTL is installing rail lines at its Port Arthur, Tex., OmniPort. GTL expects OmniPort to open in January 2012 as a multimodal terminal for oil and other products transported via rail, ship, barge, and truck.

OmniPort’s rail terminal, served by Union Pacific, includes 300 acres of on-site rail car storage and will be able to receive unit-train traffic. The rail terminal also features a multibarge receiving dock on Taylor’s Bayou.

GTL also owns and operates a 20-acre deepwater dock and receiving facility on the Sabine Neches Navigation District Channel with more than 900 ft of steel bulkhead improvements and 1,700 ft of waterfront access to the 42-ft deep channel. The deepwater dock is 2.2 miles from the new industrial rail park and terminal, connected by both Union Pacific rail line and highway. GTL is designing pipeline connectivity between the sites and will call the combined facility GT OmniPort.

GTL cited the potential for both crude and products exports in describing the $95 million project.

Bostco terminal

KMEP will participate in Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal Co. LLC (Bostco), a joint venture with TransMontaigne Partners LP, to construct, own, and operate a fuel-oil export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (HSC). Bostco’s initial phase includes building 52 storage tanks with a combined capacity of 6.6 million bbl of residual fuel and other black oils.

Bostco has received a required Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air permit and necessary Port of Houston permits, and anticipates being fully permitted by the end of November. Construction of the tanks will begin this year pending completion of binding customer agreements. Bostco will be at mile marker 43 on the HSC and will initially be a water-in and water-out facility, able to handle ships with drafts up to 45 ft.

KMEP expects Bostco’s first phase to enter service in third-quarter 2013. The company said future phases would be tied into its other Houston-market assets.

Bostco has executed initial terminal service agreements and letters of intent with customers for nearly all of the $400-million project’s capacity.

KMEP announced plans in May to build a 300,000 b/d crude-condensate pipeline to move Petrohawk Energy Corp. Eagle Ford shale production to the HSC (OGJ Online, May 5, 2011).

Oiltanking pipelines, storage

Oiltanking, meanwhile, approved expansion projects to construct two oil pipelines in the HSC and about 1 million bbl of oil storage capacity at its Houston terminaling facility. The project includes:

• Reversal of an existing 24-in. OD pipeline from Oiltanking Houston to multiple HSC refineries.

• Extension of the reversed pipeline to connect to Genoa junction, on the south side of the HSC.

• Construction of a 30-in. OD pipeline from Oiltanking Houston along the HSC to the area refineries previously served by the 24-in. pipeline.

• Construction of 1 million bbl crude storage at Oiltanking’s Houston terminaling facility.

Oiltanking cited expected US shale and Canadian oil sands crude arrivals on the Gulf Coast, and the debottleknecking of transport between Cushing and Houston, in describing the need for the extra storage capacity. The company also said it was poised to construct additional crude storage tankage to support rising customer demand as needed.

Oiltanking has obtained required environmental and internal approvals to begin building and expects to complete construction of the pipelines and the oil storage capacity during first-quarter 2013 at a cost of $80-85 million.

The new storage capacity is in addition to 1 million bbl of crude storage already being built at the Houston terminaling facility and will bring total active storage capacity across all products to roughly 18.8 million bbl.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at

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