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Biden administration approves application for new oil export project on Texas coast

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Tuesday approved the application for the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), a new offshore oil export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico. The facility will be America’s largest oil export terminal, expected to add 2m barrels per day to US oil export capacity.

The decision requires SPOT LLC to comply with conditions on the issuance of the permit, including state and federal permitting, detailed construction plans, and the development of operation manuals before MARAD will issue the licence.

MARAD’s decision follows a three-year federal review process, including a final environmental impact statement and public input process that resulted in more than 80,000 written comments submitted in opposition of the project, according to Earthworks, an environmental nonprofit.

In July, MARAD issued an impact statement that said oil processed at SPOT would create greenhouse gas emissions equal to 233m tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The agency said in its report that “[t]he construction and operation of the Port is in the national interest because the Project will benefit employment, economic growth, and US energy infrastructure resilience and security. The Port will provide a reliable source of crude oil to US. allies in the event of market disruption.”

The project plan calls for the expansion of a Houston-area terminal operated by Enterprise Products Partners L.P. – developer of the project along with Enbridge – which will be connected to a new onshore facility with storage capacity of 4.8m barrels. Underwater pipelines will deliver crude oil to the offshore terminal.

MARAD has three more proposals under review for deepwater crude export facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.

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