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EPP can move forward with offshore Texas oil-export terminal

A US federal appeals court said Enterprise Products Partners (EPP) LP can move forward with its 85,000-bbl/hr Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) a few miles off Texas.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition by environmental groups for the court to review the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD)’s decision to approve the oil-export terminal.

The groups, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, argued that MARAD’s environmental assessment did not fully assess the terminal’s potential impact on the environment and protected marine life.

“We hold that the agency adequately considered the environmental consequences of the facility before approving its deepwater port license and, on those grounds, deny the petition for review, Judge Dana Douglas wrote for the court in the Apr. 4 decision.

Enterprise’s SPOT terminal jumped a major hurdle when it received a record of decision from MARAD in late 2022 after a 4-year environmental review (OGJ Online, Nov. 30, 2022). But the company is still waiting for a US license for the project and has not disclosed a final investment decision.

SPOT consists of a fixed-platform, deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Texas in 115 ft of water. It would connect to 4.8 million bbl of onshore crude oil storage in Brazoria County, Tex., through two 36-in. bidirectional pipelines.

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