Enterprise Products Partners is entering into the next phase of development for its Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) offshore Texas after receiving the deepwater port license needed to continue from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), according to an April 9 press release.

SPOT is located approximately 30 nautical miles off Brazoria County in 115 ft of water. The next step in development is making the offshore terminal capable of loading 2 MMbbl/d of crude oil, Enterprise said in the release. The facility will be able to load up to 85,000 bbl/hr into very large large crude carriers (VLCCs) and other crude tankers.

Enterprise Products Partners is “still in the process of commercializing the project and won’t have an estimate on the timing for construction until we make a final investment decision regarding the development of SPOT,” a spokesperson for Enterprise told Hart Energy in an emailed statement.

Enterprise said SPOT, which is on track to be the first deepwater, crude-exporting hub off Texas according to MARAD’s website, is expected to offer access to over 40 grades of crude oil, including Midland WTI.

The project received conditional approval in November 2022 and was reviewed by MARAD, the U.S. Coast Guard and more than a dozen other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Texas.

Officials in the record of decision said the construction and operation of an offshore export terminal and the installation of a vapor combustion system at the deepwater port will reduce the number of ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil and lower emissions from conventional crude oil loading within the U.S.

SPOT will reduce crude vapor emissions by 95%, greenhouse gases by 65% and reduce operational risks from reverse lightering, an unregulated process where crude oil is offloaded from multiple smaller ships onto a larger vessel in federal waters off the U.S. Gulf Coast, A.J. Teague, co-CEO of Enterprise’s general partner, said.