NEW YORK—Enterprise Products Partners LP said on May 1 volumes at its crude marine terminals jumped to a record of nearly 900,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in the first quarter, despite a disruption on the Houston Ship Channel.
A petrochemical fire and fog halted vessel traffic for several days and disrupted movements in the nation’s busiest oil port in late March and into April. Enterprise said it expects to load the remaining backlog of vessels due to the disruption in early May.
The company also said volumes of crude from the Permian basin, the largest U.S. oil patch, is expected to increase by about 700,000 bbl/d in 2019, with export demand rising.
“We believe substantially all of this increase in volumes will be destined for international markets,” Jim Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner said in a statement.
A shale revolution has helped make the United States the biggest oil producer in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Exports have also hit new peaks after Washington lifted a ban in late 2015.
Production in the Permian Basin, spanning Texas and New Mexico, has surged over the past year, largely outpacing pipeline capacity from the region, prompting pipeline companies to announce several new lines and conversions of existing lines to accommodate growing crude volumes.
Output in Texas, the largest producing state, rose 1.3% to 4.8 million bbl/d in February, while in New Mexico, it rose 3.2% to 843,000 bbl/d, according to U.S. government data this week.
Enterprise’s Midland-to-ECHO 1 pipeline volumes increased 15% to a net 456,000 bbl/d for the first quarter compared with a year earlier. The pipeline runs from Midland, Texas, the heart of the Permian basin, to Enterprise’s ECHO terminal in Houston.
During the first quarter, the company said it also completed the repurposing of one of its Seminole NGL pipelines into crude oil service, now referred to as the Midland-to-ECHO 2 pipeline. This pipeline began limited service in February 2019 and began full commercial operations effective April 1.
Crude oil is included on the latest list of US exports to face a tariff.
More demand could be around the corner with offshore rig tenders as oil and gas companies step up drilling plans and final investment decisions.
U.S. energy firms this week cut the most oil rigs in about four months, with the rig count falling to the lowest since January 2018, as producers cut spending on new drilling and completions.