28 Jul 2017: The announcement this week that Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is thinking about getting involved in the crude oil export business is a big deal. LOOP is the only port in the contiguous United States that can receive fully laden VLCCs (or even ULCCs). In recent years, the facility, which was conceived in 1972 and opened in 1981, has been operating well below capacity. While capable of handling more than 2 million barrels per day (b/d), LOOP received less than 500,000 b/d on average in 2016. The shale revolution in the U.S., in combination with the lifting of the crude oil export ban has focused the attention of the domestic oil industry on export capacity (or the lack thereof). Against the backdrop of growing U.S. domestic production, LOOP should be a welcome addition to the export infrastructure, rather than an immediate threat to other terminals or prospects.
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