12 Major U.S Oil Terminals

A principal contributor to the world energy landscape, the U.S. boasts several major oil terminals and facilities that handle, store, process and distribute crude oil, petroleum products etc.

The U.S. oil terminals are strategically located across the country from Louisiana to Alaska. Facilities like the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, Houston Fuel Oil Terminal and numerous others are central to the country’s energy security and global supply chains.

The intricate infrastructural networks in the country link the major oil terminals with other domestic and international ports.

Read along to learn about the 10 Major Oil Terminals in the U.S., their infrastructure, handling and storage capacities and strategic importance.

1. Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), Clovelly, Louisiana

LOOP is the first and only deepwater facility in the United States providing tanker offloading and temporary storage service for crude oil, which is brought to the terminal on the biggest oil tankers, most of which offload here since they are too large for inland ports.

Crude oil is pumped via hoses connected to an SPM base. The SPMs are 8000 feet from the Marine Terminal and handle vessels weighing up to 700,000 deadweight tonnes. The oil goes to the Marine Terminal through a submarine pipeline.

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), Clovelly, Louisiana
image credits: Edibobb/wikipedia

The marine terminal’s facilities lie 18 miles south of Grand Isle and include control and pumping platforms. The former has a helo pad, living quarters, control stations, equipment, and offices, while the latter has four 7000-hp pumps, generators, and laboratory facilities.

The onshore facilities include the Fourchon Booster Station and the Clovelly Dome Storage Terminal. The former has four 6000-hp pumps that increase the pressure and flow of the crude oil en route to the Clovelly Dome Storage Terminal. The Clovelly terminal also stores crude oil in underground salt caverns before it is transported to refineries.

The terminal has eight caverns with a capacity of 40 million barrels, a pump station, and a 25 million barrel brine storage reservoir.

2. Houston Fuel Oil Terminal, Texas

The Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas, is a part of one of the busiest ports in the world, the Port of Houston. The channel has several terminals and berthing areas along Galveston Bay and Buffalo Bayou. Principal public terminals are Bayport, Turning Basin, etc, and private docks are there, too, such as the Deer Park Complex and ExxonMobil Baytown Complex.

A massive terminal on the northeastern side of the Houston Ship Channel handles crude and fuel oil. It has four tanker docks and more than 60 tanks to store over 16 million barrels of oil.

Houston Fuel Oil Terminal, Texas

The Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company is owned by Alinda Capital Partners LLC. It is presently the biggest fuel oil storage terminal along the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

Also, the Valero Houston Refinery lies on the Houston Ship Channel, which deals with processing sweet crude and intermediate oils into diesel, jet fuel and gasoline. The finished products are transported via pipelines to the mid-continent U.S. and nearby markets.

3. Nederland Terminal

Energy Transfer’s Nederland Terminal is the U.S.’s biggest, singularly-owned, above-ground crude oil terminal and the world’s 2nd largest natural gas liquids export facility.

It is situated on the Sabine-Neches Waterway between Beaumont and Port Arthur. It receives, stores and distributes crude oil, NGLs, petrochemicals, feedstocks and marine vessel fuel.

It has a storage capacity of 33 million barrels in its 84 storage tanks, each capable of keeping 660,000 barrels of crude oil and 1.3 million barrels of ethane.

Nederland Terminal
Representation image

This terminal can deliver crude oil and petroleum products through pipelines, barges and ships. Its daily capacity is 2 million barrels of crude oil, transported via pipelines. The terminal can receive and load crude oil at 3 ship docks and 3 barge berths.

Nederland Terminal has 3 refrigeration units with a total capacity of 700,000 barrels a day. It can chill normal butane, isobutane and mixed butane at a storage temperature between 30⁰- 35⁰

4. Corpus Christi Terminal – Corpus Christi, Texas

Situated near major U.S. oil and Gas production areas, the Corpus Christi Port is the main gateway for energy supply to the world, including markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

In 2015, it became the first port in the U.S. to export crude oil after the 40-year ban on U.S. crude oil export was lifted. Today, it is a major crude oil refinery hub with 6 refineries handling crude oil, gasoline, naphtha, jet fuel, fuel oil and diesel.

Corpus Christi Terminal

The port has many oil docks in the inner harbour that handle petroleum and petrochemical products on berths that are 75 m to 304 m long and 47 feet deep. These can accommodate Suezmax crude oil tankers that can load approximately 1,200,000 barrels of crude oil.

There are several private terminals and oil docks, including crude oil export facilities at Ingleside, whose berths can take on VLCC tankers.

The Port’s Liquid Dock 3 is located in the Inner Harbour and is accessible to 3 major railroads to supply refined fuels to U.S. and Mexican markets.

The dock has a draft of up to 45 feet and can unload and load Panamax-size ships and barges. It is also the only dock which can load directly from barge to rail on the Gulf Coast.

5. Valdez Marine Terminal – Valdez, Alaska

Valdez Marine Terminal is the southern terminus of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, also called TAPS. This facility lies on 1000 acres on the southern coast of Valdez Port.

It was constructed to load tankers and offer temporary storage capacity for allowing North Slope production to function without any effects resulting from transport system delays.

Valdez Marine Terminal - Valdez, Alaska

The terminal was constructed for 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, has an emergency and fire response team, and also generates power through its Power Vapor Facility. It operates 2 loading berths and has 14 storage tanks, each having a storage capacity of 510,000 barrels. The terminal has a working inventory capacity of 6.6 million barrels of crude oil.

Around 20 tankers load at the Valdez Marine Terminal every month. It has 4 operational berths. The entire berthing and loading process takes around a day, and the biggest tankers carry around two million barrels of oil.

6. Long Beach Oil Terminal – Long Beach, California

Zenith’s Long Beach Terminal is the main 3rd party receipt point for crude oil and has a storage capacity of 1.5 million barrels.

From here, crude is received and sent to the biggest refineries in Southern California, such as Marathon, P66, Valero and PBF. Crude is also sent to 3rd party storage facilities like Zenith’s 4 million barrel tank farm in Dominguez Hills.

Long Beach Oil Terminal - Long Beach, California

Waterborne Crude is received through the Marathon’s Berth 84/86 and Berth 121. All the tanks are interconnected and have floating roofs.

7. World Oil Marine Terminal- Long Beach

This terminal is located on the main channel in the Port of Long Beach, home to around half of oil refineries in California. It has a storage capacity of 460,000 barrels.

The World Oil Refinery and other clients use this facility to store and ship crude oil and refined products via an intricate network of pipelines owned by a third party.

World Oil Marine Terminal
Representation image

The World Oil Terminal also runs a rail facility in the industrial city of Vernon, California. It is served by Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The facility conducts various operations ranging from rail to truck and truck to rail transloading of flammable liquids, combustibles and waste liquids. It also handles railcar degassing.

8. Linden Terminal and Bayway Refinery- Port of New York and New Jersey

Linden Terminal in the New York Harbour has 27 storage tanks for fuel oil, gasoline, distillates, ethanol, jet fuels and other residual fuels. It has a storage capacity of 4.3 million barrels.

It has a deepwater ship dock, a dock for accommodating barges, and pipeline connections.

The Bayway Refinery is a refining facility owned by Phillips 66. It is the northernmost refinery on the U.S. East Coast. Crude Oil is brought here by tankers from the North Sea, West Africa, Canada and by railways from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota.

Linden Terminal and Bayway Refinery- Port of New York and New Jersey

This oil is then converted into diesel fuel, jet fuel, gasoline, propane and heating oil. These products are then delivered to the customers, most on the East Coast, through barges, railcars, pipelines and tank trucks.

There is also a petrochemical plant that produces additives and lubricants. A polypropylene plant produces more than 775 million pounds of polypropylene annually. The refinery also has a railway container terminal and heliport.

9. BP Cherry Point Marine Terminal & Refinery

Cherry Point lies near Ferndale on the northwest coast of the USA in Washington, near the Canadian border. It has three terminals, including the B.P. Terminal, which has two berths used by tankers for receiving crude oil and shipments of petroleum products.

The ConocoPhillips Refinery has a crude oil discharge berth and loading berths for barges. The Alcoa Intalco Aluminium Works has an alumina handling berth and an LPG berth. There are proposals to build an export facility for coal between the B.P. Terminal and Alumina Works.

BP Cherry Point Marine Terminal & Refinery
Representation image


Cherry Point is the biggest refinery in the Pacific Northwest. It became the first refinery in the area capable of coprocessing renewable diesel from biomass feedstocks. The fuel is the same as petroleum diesel. However, it has a lesser carbon footprint, making it environmentally friendly.

It processes around 250,000 barrels of crude oil every day and is the biggest jet fuel supplier to Portland, Seattle and Vancouver Airports and is also a major supplier of anode-grade calcined coke.

In 2021, B.P. announced its plan to invest 269 million dollars into three projects at this refinery to improve its efficiency and capacity, decrease carbon dioxide emissions and increase the renewable diesel production capacity.

10. Baton Rouge Terminal & Scenic Station – Louisiana

The Baton Rouge Terminal in Louisiana is close to ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge Refinery. It can store around 1.6 million barrels and handles the import and export of liquid bulk.

A pipeline from the terminal goes to the Port of Baton Rouge, which offers customers facilities for deepwater vessel loading and unloading for Aframax and Panamax class ships.

Baton Rouge Terminal & Scenic Station - Louisiana

Scenic Station is situated in Baton Rouge, north of ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge Refinery. It can unload several unit trains daily, carry light and heavy crude oil, and has a storage capacity of 440,000 barrels.

11. ITC Deer Park Terminal & Pasadena Terminal

Intercontinental Terminals Co. (ITC) serves the petrochemical industry through its two terminals located on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. in Houston.

The ITC Deer Park Terminal began operations in 1972 and has 242 tanks, giving it a 13.1 million barrel capacity to store petrochemical liquids, gases, bunker oil, fuel oil, and distillates. It has 5 docks and 10 docks for barges connected with railways and pipelines.

ITC Deer Park Terminal & Pasadena Terminal
Representation image

The ITC Pasadena terminal started in 2015 with a capacity of 1 million barrels and presently can store more than 3 million barrels. It handles petrochemicals and petroleum products on its 2 ship docks and 4 barge docks.

12. Black Thunder Terminal

A joint venture between Meritage Midstream and Arch Coal, this terminal handles crude oil storage. It engages in rail loading and marketing services to producers in the Powder River Basin and refiners located downstream.

Black Thunder Terminal
Representation image

It is strategically positioned in the heart of the bain’s drilling activities, and the BNSF and Union Pacific Railway Companies serve the terminal.

This terminal also operates a Liquid Storage facility, which became operational in 2014 and is linked to railways and roadways. It mainly stores crude oil. It has 5 tanks with a storage capacity of 5,00,000 bbl.

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About Author

Zahra is an alumna of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is an avid writer, possessing immaculate research and editing skills. Author of several academic papers, she has also worked as a freelance writer, producing many technical, creative and marketing pieces. A true aesthete at heart, she loves books a little more than anything else.

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