Condensate City – Eagle Ford Crude Infrastructure Part 7 – Corpus Christi Terminals

Since the start of 2013 Corpus Christi marine terminal facilities have increased crude and condensate storage by 10 MMBbl and throughput capacity from 225 Mb/d to nearly 1 MMb/d. Upwards of 700 Mb/d is leaving the Port of Corpus Christi by barge and tanker – most of it headed along the Gulf Coast to Houston or Louisiana. Waterborne traffic congestion in Corpus is already limiting terminal throughput but the potential for increased exports of condensate and refined products from planned condensate splitters suggest the traffic will get worse soon. Today we survey current Corpus terminal facilities.

This is the 7th episode in our series updating analysis of Eagle Ford infrastructure. In Part 1 (see Condensate City – Finding a Home For Eagle Ford Crude) we described a five-fold increase in Eagle Ford crude oil production over the past three years to 1.5 MMb/d. We explained the varying quality and in particular the high percentage of condensate in liquids output (about 45 percent) has caused headaches for producers and refiners alike. Two main pipeline routes to market have developed from the Eagle Ford – south to the Port of Corpus Christi and East to Houston area refineries. In Part 2 we described the crude takeaway systems developed by Magellan Midstream Partners and Kinder Morgan. In Part 3 we reviewed Plains All American Pipeline (Plains) and Enterprise Product Partners (Enterprise). In Part 4 we looked at Harvest Pipeline, Martin Midstream, Energy Transfer Partners and Trafigura. In Part 5 we covered infrastructure developed by Koch and NuStar. In Part 6 we looked at Devon and Genesis as well as Eagle Ford refineries. This time we turn our attention to marine dock facilities at Corpus Christi.

N E W   R E P O R T ! !   Battle for Henry Hub

Examines the impact of huge surpluses of natural gas bearing down on the Henry Hub in South Louisiana from Marcellus/Utica in the east and supplies from the west sourced from high-BTU and associated gas from plays in TX, NM, OK and ND

More information about Battle for Henry Hub here.

Port of Corpus Christi Shipments

We posted our first blog describing marine terminals in Corpus Christi designed to throughput Eagle Ford crude onto barges and tankers for shipment to refineries along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts in February 2013 (see We’re Jammin). At that time we estimated total crude storage for the terminals was 7.7 MMBbl and crude throughput capacity was 225 Mb/d. Our latest estimate of those totals is just over 17 MMBbl of crude and condensate storage and throughput capacity just short of 1 MMb/d. We’ll get to the details of those numbers in a table below, but suffice to say, the growth has been spectacular. Port statistics for crude deliveries out of Corpus Christi provide a vivid picture of that growth – from virtually no crude shipped out in January 2012 to close to 700 Mb/d leaving in August 2014 (latest available data – see Figure #1). The build out of dock capacity to nearly 1 MMb/d has exceeded those shipments of 700 Mb/d but there is a good reason for that – congestion. There are just too many barges and tankers crowded into Corpus Christi shipping lanes. One indication of that congestion is that increasing volumes of Eagle Ford crude are being diverted to the smaller Port Lavaca up the Gulf Coast towards Houston. Our friends at ClipperData record rising shipments out of Port Lavaca - averaging 100 Mb/d in 2014.

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