Unocal Midstream & Trade (UMT), a division of Unocal Corp., has initiated an open season offering crude oil port and pipeline transportation services from its proposed bulk oil offshore transfer system (Boots) facility in the Gulf of Mexico.
Boots would be a Gulf of Mexico deepwater port 100 mi south of Beaumont, Texas, capable of offloading tankers with capacity of up to 2 MMbbl at rates up to 1.2 MMb/d.
Boots would also be capable of receiving vessels transporting crude oil from domestic Gulf of Mexico deepwater production fields. Boots will deliver crude oil via new pipelines to existing refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast and will have access to other inland refineries via existing pipeline and terminal facilities.
UMT is conducting an open season for 24 days to offer the remaining 700,000 b/d of firm Boots pipeline capacity to interested parties. The open season process allows interested parties to review the rates, terms, and conditions for port and transportation services offered by the Boots facility, and provides a means to make a commitment of crude volume for these services.
UMT markets, processes, stores, and transports oil and natural gas produced by Unocal and other producers.
"A new deepwater port and related pipelines will provide a more efficient crude oil offloading facility that would result in reduced handling requirements, port calls, and transit times, thus reducing costs and risks associated with the movement of crude to Gulf Coast refineries," said Joseph Blount, president of Unocal Midstream & Trade.
The Boots facility will consist of a pumping platform; two single-point moorings (SPMs); a 100-mi-long, 48/42-in.-diameter pipeline to Unocal's Beaumont terminal, which has 7.5 MMbbl of crude oil and product storage capacity and existing connections to major existing pipeline systems into and out of the Texas Gulf Coast area; and a 50-mi-long, 42-in.-diameter pipeline to Texas City, Texas.
The system could be in operation by the beginning of 2007 assuming sufficient commitments are obtained and the necessary permits are granted. Boots, LLC intends to seek project financing opportunities to offset most of the proposed project capital costs, which total $500 million.