PetroChina has taken over the lease of the 5 million bbl of oil storage capacity at the NuStar Energy Statia terminal on the Caribbean island of St Eustatius from Saudi Aramco.

The facility is a strategically located hub for oil tankers on the waters between North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, according to Oil & Gas Journal.

The terminal is capable of handling large oil tankers close to major US refining and transport hubs on the Gulf Coast, and can be eventually used by China as part of a broader oil trading network within the region and beyond.

PetroChina’s lease anticipates the expansion of the Panama Canal that is under way, which will allow passage of larger ships carrying greater amounts of oil, LNG and other commodities.

The terminal was released by Aramco after it obtained free oil storage facilities in Okinawa.