NuStar Energy L.P. has completed construction of a private marine loading dock at its North Beach Terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has its first ship at the dock to be loaded with crude oil. Originally scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of this year, NuStar expedited the project in order to meet strong customer interest in using the dock to transport shipments of Eagle Ford crude oil by water.
With this new dock, NuStar now has three loading docks in the Port of Corpus Christi, and can load crude oil onto ships simultaneously on all three docks. NuStar also completed major additions and upgrades to the terminal’s pump systems. With all of these upgrades, the North Beach terminal’s marine loading capacity was more than tripled to 400,000 barrels per day.
“The addition of the new dock and the related upgrades to our systems are critical to our Eagle Ford Shale strategy as it gives our customers even more options to move Eagle Ford crude by water,” said NuStar President and CEO Brad Barron. “This additional capacity enables us to handle all of the new volumes associated with our ongoing expansion efforts in our South Texas crude oil pipeline system, as well as additional volumes shipped on our pipeline systems to Corpus Christi.
“And finishing this project several months ahead of schedule is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and our contractors,” Barron added. “I’m proud of the great teamwork they showed in working together not just to finish the project quickly, but to finish it safely.”
The new dock project includes a series of 30-inch and 12-inch pipelines that move the crude oil from incoming pipelines or tanks within the terminal to the new dock, a state-of-the-art metering system, vapor control system, and a dock structure with three loading arms. The dock system is designed to load Panamax-class vessels (which carry between 350,000 and 500,000 barrels) at rates up to 30,000 barrels per hour. And the entire structure is supported by 73 concrete piles, each measuring approximately 120 feet, and each of these piles was driven about 70 feet into the bottom of the ship channel.
NuStar Energy, February 14, 2014; Image: Port of Corpus Christi