Sea Port Oil Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Sea Port Oil Terminal, also known as SPOT, is a proposed oil export terminal offshore Freeport, Texas, United States.


The terminal will be located between 27.2 and 30.8 nautical miles off the coast of Freeport, Brazoria County, Texas.[1]

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Project Details

  • Owner: Enterprise Products Partners; Enbridge
  • Location: Gulf of Mexico offshore Freeport, Texas
  • Coordinates: 28.605717,-95.011104 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 2 million barrels per day
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Export
  • Start Year: 2023[2]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day


SPOT would involve the transportation of two million barrels of Permian crude oil every day through 50 miles of new pipeline to a new oil storage facility in Oyster Creek, Texas. From there, twin pipelines would cut through the town of Surfside Beach and into the ocean to a loading platform 30 miles off the Gulf Coast. This infrastructure would permit the loading of the largest oil tankers in the world, called Very Large Crude Carriers, for export to global markets. The project would cross 129 water bodies en route to the coast, threatening wetlands, waterways, and the well water which the Surfside community relies on.[3]

On January 31, 2019, Enterprise Products submitted an application to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Maritime Administration (MARAD) seeking a Federal license under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA), as amended, to own, construct, operate, and eventually decommission the export terminal.[1] In July 2019 Enterprise and Chevron announced that they had agreed on a final investment decision (FID) to support the project. [4] In December 2019 Enterprise announced that it will be jointly developing the project with Enbridge.[5]

Project Delay and Opposition

In June 2020, USCG and MARAD suspended their review of and the drafting of an environmental impact statement for SPOT due to unanswered questions from Enterprise and Enbridge about the project description and a list of affected landowners.[6] The promoters had planned to commence construction in summer 2020 on receipt of the federal licensing. The delay, on top of global oil market uncertainties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, means that the project's completion date will be pushed to at least 2023 given the expected two year construction period if the project receives a green light to progress.[2]

The comment period for the project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement saw local residents and concerned advocates submitting over 38,000 comments in opposition to the SPOT project, highlighting the risk it poses to waterways, endangered species, public health, local economies, and the global climate. The public submissions against the project followed calls from impacted local governments which also called for the project’s denial. In March 2020, the Surfside Beach City Council voted unanimously to oppose the project, and, in May 2020, Oyster Creek Mayor Justin Miller expressed similar opposition to the project.[3]

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