SINGAPORE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - China's state oil major Sinopec is evaluating two projects in the United States that could boost Gulf Coast crude oil exports and also expand storage facilities in the Caribbean, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to visit Beijing next week.
With U.S.-China energy trade likely to feature prominently during Trump's visit, the people said one of the projects could see Sinopec partnering with U.S. commodities trader Freepoint Commodities LLC and U.S. private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC.
The trio is mulling building a pipeline to move shale oil from the Permian basin in Texas to the U.S. Gulf Coast for export, the people said.
This project also includes the construction of a terminal that can load 2 million barrels of crude onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), they said. This will reduce a big chunk of logistics costs incurred for U.S. crude exports, making the oil more competitive in Asia, the sources said.
They declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to media.
The three companies have also been exploring an expansion of oil storage at Limetree Bay (LB) Terminals in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, and restarting an idled refinery at the same site, they said.
Sinopec, which is Asia's largest oil refiner, ArcLight and all Freepoint declined to comment. (Reporting by Florence Tan; Additional reporting by Chen Aizhu in BEIJING; Editing by Josephine Mason and Kenneth Maxwell)