LOOP running tests with supertanker as it prepares to export crude oil

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the largest privately owned crude terminal in the United States, has started to test loading and unloading of a supertanker—a move bringing the facility closer to being able to export crude oil, Reuters reports.

LOOP, headquartered in Covington, announced last year that its U.S. Gulf Coast facility would have the capacity to load oil tankers that can ship some 2 million barrels of oil by early 2018.

The announcement followed the lifting of a 40-year ban on oil exports two years ago. Since then tankers filled with U.S. crude have landed in more than 30 countries like China and India.

Gulf Coast terminals handle three-quarters of U.S. crude exports, but only LOOP can handle incoming supertankers. Most U.S. shipping channels are too shallow.

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