18 miles offshore from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) recently completed its first Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) loading operation at its deepwater port. The operation allowed LOOP to fully load a VLCC, making it the only U.S. Port to have the capability. This first VLCC left LOOP on Sunday afternoon, and is expected to arrive in China in early April.
LOOP bringing this capability online is the latest step in the development of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, and serves as an important milestone for our state’s position in the American energy market. Louisiana is already uniquely positioned to be a major shipping hub for our natural gas and oil markets, and the inclusion of LOOP’s VLCC loading operation provides an expanse of new possibility for the Pelican State.
“We are pleased to offer the enhanced capability to safely and efficiently load the largest cargo vessels in the world with crude oil for export,” said Tom Shaw, LOOP president. “There could not be a better time to offer this service as domestic production surpasses 10 million barrels per day in the ever dynamic global crude oil market.”
With American production of crude oil and natural gas rising every single month, the ability to transport larger and larger amounts of our natural resources becomes even more important. The export-import business is set to have continued, beneficial economic impact on the state of Louisiana, and our hard working Louisianians.
In order to take full advantage of this opportunity, and to maintain the momentum we’ve built to this point, it’s vital that we ensure our energy infrastructure is sufficient as well. Projects to expand our pipeline network, like the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, become even more important with developments like LOOP’s new export ability. We’re in a special position right now in Louisiana, and we can’t let this opportunity slip by. Building additional, safe energy infrastructure like Bayou Bridge is a surefire way to help our state economy, while creating jobs and improving lives.