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Bringing VLCCs to port

Transport costs for US crude exports should fall as facilities are built to handle the largest tankers

US crude exports are already breaking records and new pipeline capacity will bring even more cargoes to sea by the end of this year. How this crude is loaded at the terminals—and the type of tanker it is loaded aboard-is about to change, promising new savings for oil exporters. Today, most US crude shipped to Atlantic Basin buyers is loaded on smaller 750,000-bl Aframax tankers. In contrast, almost all US crude sent to Pacific Basin buyers is transported using very large crude carriers (VLCCs) that can hold 2mn barrels each. Due to insufficient channel depth along the US Gulf Coast, almost all VLCCs must be reverse lightered: cargoes are initially loaded on Aframaxes, which then conduct sh

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