Crude oil shipments out of the Texas Port of Corpus Christi climbed to a record high in June as the Eagle Ford shale play pumped out ever more crude, port data showed on Monday, although outbound cargoes of condensate dipped. More than 560,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil left the port, an increase of 61 percent from June 2013 and a rise of 5 percent from May’s 535,000 bpd, which was the previous record high.
Eagle Ford’s gushing shale fields have yielded copious amounts of crude oil largely destined for refineries along the Gulf and East coasts, with some barrels going to Canadian refineries. The port data does not identify individual shipments or provide figures on shipments by destination. Crude oil loadings averaged 340,000 bpd in 2013 and never topped 400,000 bpd in any given month.
In 2014, they have averaged 451,000 bpd, climbing by about 100,000 bpd every two months, from 359,000 bpd in January to 437,000 in March. In June, more than 63,000 bpd of condensate left Corpus, down 9.5 percent from May’s 70,000 barrels but triple the June 2013 figure of 21,000.
Energy companies and traders such as Valero Energy Corp and Trafigura Beheer BV are scrambling to take advantage of the shale boom, leasing docking space at the port and expanding existing facilities for transloading and storing crude.