Enterprise Products Partners said Wednesday morning that it has secured its first contract to export US crude oil, marking the first export cargo of US crude oil from the Gulf Coast in nearly 4 decades following the repeal of the oil export ban last week.
The company said it has agreed to provide pipeline and marine terminal services to load its first export of crude oil produced in the US under the law enacted earlier this month. The 600,000 barrel cargo of domestic light crude oil is scheduled to load at the Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal (EHT) on the Houston Ship Channel during the first week of January.
The other reports that Enterprise sold the cargo to Vitol Group, the Dutch merchant trading giant. A person familiar with the matter told the paper that the cargo's destination is a Vitol subsidiary’s refinery in Cressier, Switzerland. The facility supplies diesel and other fuels to Northern Europe, the source said.
In June 2014, the Commerce Department issued private rulings to allow Enterprise and its peer Pioneer Natural Resources to export lightly distilled condensate to foreign customers. Specifically, Enterprise Products Partners and Pioneer Natural Resources were given permission to sell unrefined condensate to foreign buyers who will convert the condensate to refined products like diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel abroad. This was seen at the time as one of the first moves toward lifting the oil export ban.
A.J. “Jim” Teague, COO of Enterprise’s general partner, commented on Wednesday's announcement, "We are excited to announce our first contract to export U.S. crude oil, which to our knowledge may be the first export cargo of U.S. crude oil from the Gulf Coast in almost 40 years."
He also lauded Congress and President Obama's decision last week to repeal the 40-year general ban on US oil exports. "We applaud the actions of Congress and President Obama to remove the ban on U.S. crude oil exports,” stated Teague. “This law facilitates economic growth and job creation for the United States as well as enhances our national and energy security. This action provides new markets to domestic producers, especially producers of light crude oil, and will provide global markets with supply diversification.”