The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is set to begin testing loading of a supertanker for export. It said: “has moored a VLCC and initiated its detailed test and checkout procedure”. The tanker Shaden, chartered by Shell Oil and Saudi Arabian-flagged, will set sail from the port later this week, according to market sources.

The trail run could signal the beginning of regular exports from the port and will see the U.S. tap into its growing production of crude oil that has already shaken up the global oil market.

VLCC’s have the capacity to load two million barrels, and while the U.S. has already been exporting crude since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports two years ago, most ports are too shallow to allow full loadings of supertankers. The water depths around LOOP’s terminal allow for the industry’s largest tankers to be fully laden for exports. The U.S. Gulf Coast terminals currently handle around 75% of U.S. crude exports, but only LOOP has the ability to handle incoming supertankers.

Since the export ban was lifted, U.S. crude oil exports have risen to a record high of 2.1 million barrels. The nation has been exporting crude to countries including Switzerland, China, Israel and even the U.A.E. Asia, the biggest oil-consuming region in the world, has imported approximately one third of U.S. crude oil exports since the start of 2017.

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15th Feb 2018

15th February 2018