Combined exports and imports of hydrocarbons across Enterprise Products Partners LP’s marine terminals, including 18 deepwater docks along the Texas Gulf Coast, totaled a company record 146 million barrels on a gross basis during the first quarter of 2017.
The previous quarterly record was 136 million barrels in the second quarter of 2016. The loading of natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, condensate, refined products and petrochemicals accounted for about 62 percent of total marine terminal volumes in the first quarter of 2017, according to Enterprise. The following is a breakdown of average daily marine terminal volumes by product in terms of thousand barrels per day (mbpd) for the first quarter of 2017:
- Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate/WTI, Light WTI, condensate and West Texas Sour): 648 mbpd
- NGLs (propane, ethane and butanes): 569 mbpd
- Refined products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, methanol and MTBE): 384 mbpd
- Petrochemicals (propylene): 15 mbpd
“Our marine terminals reported a 16 percent increase in gross volumes for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016 to a record 146 million barrels, or 1.6 million barrels per day,” says A.J. Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner. “Gross NGLs and crude oil marine terminal volumes for the first quarter of 2017 increased by 25 percent and 9 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2016.”
Enterprise’s largest marine terminal, Enterprise Hydrocarbons Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, accounted for about 60 percent or almost 922 mbpd of total volumes handled in the first quarter of 2017. The terminal is well positioned to facilitate the growing need for U.S.-produced NGLs, crude oil, condensate, refined products and petrochemicals, Teague adds. With Enterprise’s recent investments in dock expansion, its Enterprise Hydrocarbons Terminal has the capacity to handle up to 2 million barrels per day, depending on the mix of hydrocarbon cargoes and imports versus exports.
“Recently, we believe the Houston Ship Channel has been a victim of erroneous claims of growing congestion,” Teague says. “Large vessel traffic on the waterway has essentially been flat since 2012. The Houston Ship Channel has the capability to handle much more deep draft activity, as the average daily movements are less than 60 percent of its peak single-day record, according to the Greater Houston Port Bureau. When it comes to access to onshore storage facilities, vessel traffic service, two-way traffic, max draft, beam and air draft dimensions, number of pilots and the lack of military and offshore platform limitations, our experience tells us the Houston Ship Channel is the crown jewel of ports in the Texas Gulf Coast.”