August 6, 2018 / 3:57 PM / 14 days ago

Trading firm Trafigura looks to build U.S. deep water oil port

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Trafigura has applied to build a deep water port in Texas, United States, that would be able to load supertankers, the company said on Monday, supplying badly needed oil export infrastructure to the country.

The company said it had applied for a permit on July 9 via its subsidiary Texas Gulf Terminals.

The United States began exporting crude oil in 2016 after the ban on exports was lifted but while its production and therefore exports keep hitting new highs, its infrastructure has not kept up.

The United States exports over 2 million barrels per day of crude while output hit 11 million bpd for the first time last month, making the country the biggest producer in the world after Russia.

There are no inland ports that can fully load Very Large Crude Carriers - vessels capable of holding 2 million barrels of oil - leaving it to be done via ship-to-ship transfers.

"The Texas Gulf ... will allow VLCCs and other tankers to load cargo safely, directly and fully via a single-point mooring buoy system (SPM). Using SPMs eliminates unnecessary ship traffic in inland ports as well as the 'double handling' of the same crude oil," the company said in a statement.

A spokeswoman added the infrastructure would include a new onshore terminal that will be fed via a pipeline and close to Corpus Christi.

The SPM will have a capacity of around 500,000 barrels per day, the spokeswoman said.

While monthly data can vary, Swiss-based Trafigura was overall the largest U.S. crude and condensate exporter last year. (Reporting By Julia Payne; editing by David Evans)

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