Thanks to new pipelines in the Permian Basin, a record amount of 1 million barrels of oil a day on average was loaded last week onto vessels at Corpus Christi, Texas.
Consultancy RBN Energy, according to Reuters indicated the record was nearly double the July average of 525,000 barrels a day. And nearly half of last week’s loadings occurred at the Moda Midstream LLC’s export terminal in Ingleside near Corpus Christi.
Why the increase? Because of crude oil pipelines owned by EPIC Midstream and Plains All American Pipeline LP. They are able to transport up to 1.07 million barrels a day combined. Both started operations last month and it relieved a bottleneck in the Permian which had been caused by a lack of pipelines.
Pipeline operators recently have cut tariff rates to the U.S. Gulf Coast, encouraging flows and reducing the spread between Midland and Houston oil prices.
Crude inventories in Corpus Christi recently climbed almost 1 million to 12.7 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 23, with storage utilization reaching 52%, according to market intelligence firm Genscape.
West Texas crude inventories last week fell by 2 million to 21.3 million barrels at monitored facilities, Genscape said. Permian Basin output rose to 4.35 million bpd last month from 3.91 million bpd in January, according to U.S. government figures.
Waterborne crude prices in Corpus Christi this week firmed to a $1.20 to $1.50 per barrel discount to Brent crude futures, the global benchmark. That compared with a discount as wide as $2.50 per barrel in early August and July, traders said.