Enbridge and Enterprise Products Partners have signed a letter of intent (LOI)to jointly develop and market a deepwater offshore crude oil export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

The deepwater port will be capable of fully loading very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

The firms agreed to negotiate an equity participation right agreement, pursuant to which Enbridge will have an option to purchase an ownership interest in Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT). Enbridge noted that the ownership interest is subject to SPOT receiving a deep-water port license.

Enterprise and Enbridge initially plan to focus on commercial development efforts on seeking customer support to fully utilise SPOT. With the growing market demand for crude oil export, Enbridge expects that its Texas COLT deep-water port will be positioned well further.

Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco said: “This collaboration leverages our jointly owned and highly competitive Seaway system and capitalises on each of our capabilities to drive out highly capital efficient export infrastructure for our customers.

“For Enbridge, it’s also a key part of our priority to provide our North American light and heavy crude customers with highly efficient access to the Houston-area refining markets and growing global demand.”

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Furthermore, the company plans to advance the Jones Creek Crude Oil Storage Terminal development which will have a capability of up to 15 million barrels of storage.

Jones Creek will have access to crude from all major North American production basins. It will be fully integrated with the Seaway Pipeline system to get access to Houston-area refineries, along with existing and future export facilities.

Monaco further added: “The combination of the proposed Seaway expansion, the development of our Jones Creek Storage Terminal and our expanded offshore VLCC, positions us nicely and advances our strategy to enhance and extend North America’s premiere crude oil value chain – one that stretches from western Canada, to the Midwest and through to the Midcontinent and US Gulf Coast.”