The project, which is being developed with the Port of Corpus Christi, would compete with nearby shale export terminals proposed by investor Carlyle Group and commodities trader Trafigura AG. Its project would be at least the ninth project proposed for the Gulf Coast.
U.S. crude exports hit 3.12 million barrels per day (bpd) this month from zero before the U.S. lifted a ban on exports in late 2015. Shale oil from fields in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and North Dakota is projected to push U.S. output to 12.32 million bpd this year, according to U.S. forecasts.
The facility could load up to 1.56 million bpd, nearly the capacity of a supertanker. If approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration, U.S. Coast Guard and Texas regulators, operations could begin in mid-2021, said a person familiar with its plans.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled petrochemicals company formally approved construction of a new chemical complex in Texas that will process production from the Permian Basin’s booming oil and natural gas wells.
The project near Corpus Christi will be the world’s largest steam cracker and create $50 billion of “economic output” in the first six years, Exxon and Saudi Basic Industries Corp., known as Sabic, said in a joint statement on Thursday. The facility will convert hydrocarbons such as ethane and propane to ethylene, a chemical used to make everything from plastics to antifreeze.