Oil exports drive tonnage record at Corpus Christi

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — The Port of Corpus Christi set another tonnage record in the third quarter of 2022, driven in large part by record exports of crude oil. The new quarterly tonnage record of 48.3 million tons surpassed the previous tonnage record set in the second quarter of 2022 of 46.4 million tons, a 4 percent increase on overall tonnage.

The growth primarily was a result of strong exports of United States-produced crude oil to Western European buyers who have moved away from Russian crude imports. The U.S. and its Western European allies have placed restrictive trade sanctions on Russian crude oil as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Added strength in exports came from refined petroleum products and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge. William Gray photo

Additional tonnage records have been reached in 2022 in renewable energy components as more wind turbines and blades are moved through the Port of Corpus Christi.

“As we celebrate our centennial year, we are pleased with the continued record-setting performance of the gateway and the confidence our customers continue to demonstrate in the Port of Corpus Christi,” said Sean Strawbridge, chief executive officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “In these times of uncertainty, moving America’s energy to other U.S. demand centers and our overseas allies and trading partners has never been more critical for our economic and national security. I thank our customers and their shareholders for their continued trust in our ability to deliver much needed infrastructure and services for the safe and competitive delivery of their goods.”

The Port of Corpus Christi also established a new monthly crude oil export record of 2.2 million barrels per day in October, for more than 60 percent market share of the national total crude export market.

Crude oil shipments for the third quarter totaled 28.7 million tons, for a gain of 5 percent over the prior record set in the second quarter. Refined products amounted to 8.3 million tons, an increase of 4.4 percent from the previous quarter. LNG shipments increased by 5.8 percent to 4.2 million tons, and dry bulk cargo came in at 2.1 million tons – 3.7 percent above the second quarter. Total year-to-date waterway tonnage through the third quarter was 138.3 million tons.

“The Port of Corpus Christi is a key economic engine not just for the Texas Coastal Bend region, but also the state and the nation,” said Charles Zahn Jr., chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. “This success also allows the Port of Corpus Christi to reinvest into this great community and plan for future infrastructure improvements that will further the port’s commitment to serving not only its existing customer base, but also attracting new customers to the region.”

– Port of Corpus Christi

By Rich Miller