Massive tanker’s arrival in South Texas makes history
Chris Ramirez , Corpus Christi Caller-Times
INGLESIDE — A massive crude carrier called the Anne docked at the Port of Corpus Christi on Friday without a drop of oil in its cargo hold.
Nonetheless, its visit made history.
At nearly 1,100 feet long and 200 feet wide, the French vessel was easily be the largest oil tanker to ever call on a port in the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials for Occidental Petroleum successfully navigated the super tanker through the port and safely docked it at the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center export terminal. The experiment came at a time when most gulf ports are wrestling with major spikes in vessel traffic that can be traced to the Panama Canal’s recent expansion and the December 2015 repeal of the ban on foreign crude exports.
Nowhere is that trend playing out more vividly than at Corpus Christi’s port, the nation’s fifth largest, based on tonnage.
“This is a great milestone for this port and this region,” Port Authority chairman Charles Zahn said.
The Anne, owned by Belgium-based Euronav, can hold up to 2.2 million barrels of crude, significantly dwarfing the supramax and handymax vessels that are commonly seen at the port. The ship’s cargo hold was empty for the test to stay within the port’s 45-foot draft limit. In all, five tug boats were needed to escort the Anne through some of the port’s narrowest and shallowest choke points to reach its destination.
Cynthia L. Walker, a senior vice president for Occidental Petroleum, said the Ingleside facility is pivotal to the company’s operations to move crude out of the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico.
Written by Chris Ramirez , Corpus Christi Caller-Times