January 15, 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

DOT Approves Two Offshore Superports For Large Tankers

Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman has approved the construction of the nation's first two offshore superports. To be built in the Gulf of Mexico, the deepwater ports will be connected to shore storage facilities by buried pipelines.

In announcing this decision, Secretary Coleman stated that the superports would allow the U.S. to preserve domestic oil reserves and permit the country to respond to an energy crisis more efficiently. He also predicted that use of very large tankers would reduce the transportation cost of importing oil by up to 30 percent.

One port, located 18 miles off Grand Isle, La., will be operated by Loop Inc. This firm is a consortium consisting of Ashland Oil, Inc., Marathon Oil Company, Murphy Oil Corporation, Shell Oil Company, Texaco Inc., and Union Oil Company of California.

The first phase of construction will cost about $350 million. The finished port will cost $738 million and will be able to unload 3.4 million barrels per day.

The second port, located 26 miles south of Freeport, Texas, will be operated by Seadock Inc., a joint venture formed by Cities Service Company, Continental Oil Company, Crown-Central Petroleum Corporation, Exxon Corporation, Gulf Oil Corporation, Mobil Corporation, Phillips Petroleum Company, Shell Oil Company, and Dow Chemical Company. This facility will also be constructed in two steps with a final delivery rate of four million barrels per day and costing about $864 million.

Secretary Coleman incorporated in his approval of these offshore oil terminals several restrictions, including: the ports would be required to provide open and nondiscriminatory access to all shippers ; the ports would be required to enlarge capacity by up to 25 percent if new capacity is needed, and the Transportation Department would exercise some control over the onshore pipelines.

Other stories from January 15, 1977 issue


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