Crude oil export operations have commenced on Dec. 30 at the second deepwater dock at South Texas Gateway (STG), a new state-of-the-art terminal operated by Buckeye Partners LP at the mouth of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in Ingleside, Texas.

In a company release, Buckeye also announced the loading of the first VLCC tanker to berth at the terminal, marking another significant moment for Buckeye and the Port of Corpus Christi.

“We are very excited to have achieved these important milestones at our new facility, enhancing STG’s and Buckeye’s ability to serve global energy markets,” said Buckeye Partners President and CEO Clark C. Smith in a statement. “STG’s new terminal, alongside our nearby Buckeye Texas Partners facility, will be instrumental in providing our customers with cutting-edge logistics solutions and in reinforcing the role of the Port of Corpus Christi as a top export location for U.S. energy producers.”

STG is a joint venture 50% owned and operated by Buckeye Partners. Phillips 66 Partners LP and Marathon Petroleum Corp., through respective subsidiaries, each have a 25% ownership interest.

In the release, Buckeye said the completion of the second deepwater dock at STG enables the company to accommodate the berthing and loading of two vessels simultaneously, further facilitating the supply of North American crude oil to global markets.

“The completion of the second dock and loading of its first VLCC cargo at the STG Terminal are significant milestones for Buckeye and the Port of Corpus Christi,” Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi, said in a statement. “As Texas moves into the next phase of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, partnerships like those between the Port of Corpus Christi and its customers such as STG are critical to the continuance of American leadership in the global energy marketplace.”

When fully operational, STG’s petroleum products storage capacity will be 8.6 million barrels, with the potential to expand to 10 million barrels and throughput capacity of up to 800,000 bbl/d at its two deepwater docks.

The final construction phase of STG’s storage facilities are expected to be completed first-quarter 2021. The terminal’s marine facilities are now fully operational, according to the Dec. 30 release.

Buckeye Partners owns and operates a diversified global network of integrated assets providing midstream logistic solutions. The Houston-based company is a wholly owned investment of the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund.