Deepwater Port License Application: SPOT Terminal Services LLC (SPOT)

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 45 (Thursday, March 7, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 45 (Thursday, March 7, 2019)]
[Pages 8401-8404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2019-04101]
Maritime Administration
[Docket No. MARAD-2019-0011]
Deepwater Port License Application: SPOT Terminal Services LLC
AGENCY: Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation.
ACTION: Notice of intent; Notice of public meeting; Request for
SUMMARY: The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in coordination with the Maritime
Administration (MARAD), will prepare an environmental impact statement
(EIS) as part of the environmental review of the SPOT Terminal Services
LLC (SPOT) deepwater port license application. The application proposes
the ownership, construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of
an offshore oil export deepwater port that would be located in Federal
waters approximately 27.2 to 30.8 nautical miles off the coast of
Brazoria County, Texas in a water depth of approximately 115 feet. The
deepwater port would allow for the loading of Very Large Crude Carriers
(VLCCs) and other sized crude oil cargo carriers via a single point
mooring buoy system.
    This Notice of Intent (NOI) requests public participation in the
scoping process, provides information on how to participate, and
announces an informational open house and public meeting in Lake
Jackson, Texas. Pursuant to the criteria provided in the Deepwater Port
Act of 1974, as amended, Texas is the designated Adjacent Coastal State
for this application.
DATES: There will be one public scoping meeting held in connection with
the SPOT deepwater port application. The meeting will be held in Lake
Jackson, Texas, on March 20, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The
public meeting will be preceded by an informational open house from
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    The public meeting may end later than the stated time, depending on
the number of persons wishing to speak. Additionally, materials
submitted in response to this request for comments on the SPOT
deepwater port license application must reach the Federal Docket
Management Facility as detailed below by Friday, April 5, 2019.
ADDRESSES: The open house and public meeting in Lake Jackson, Texas
will be held at the Courtyard Lake Jackson, 159 State Highway 288, Lake
Jackson, Texas, 77566, phone: (979) 297-7300, web address: Free
parking is available at the venue.
    The public docket for the SPOT deepwater port license application
is maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Management Facility, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
    The license application is available for viewing at the website: under docket number
    We encourage you to submit comments electronically through the
Federal eRulemaking Portal at If you submit
your comments electronically, it is not necessary to also submit a hard
copy. If you cannot submit material using,
please contact either Mr. Efrain Lopez, USCG, or Ms. Yvette M. Fields,
section of this document, which also provides alternate instructions
for submitting written comments. Additionally, if you go to the online
docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments
are posted. Anonymous comments will be accepted. All comments received
will be posted without change to and will
include any personal information you have provided. The Federal Docket
Management Facility's telephone number is 202-366-9317 or 202-366-9826,
the fax number is 202-493-2251.
202-372-1437, email:, or Ms. Yvette M. Fields,
MARAD, telephone: 202-366-0926, email: For
questions regarding viewing the Docket, call Docket Operations,
telephone: 202-366-9317 or 202-366-9826.
Public Meeting and Open House
    We encourage you to attend the informational open house and public
meeting to learn about, and comment on, the proposed deepwater port.
You will have the opportunity to submit comments on the scope and
significance of the issues related to the proposed deepwater port that
should be addressed in the EIS.
    Speaker registrations will be available at the door. Speakers at
the public scoping meeting will be recognized in the following order:
Elected officials, public agencies, individuals or groups in the sign-
up order and then anyone else who wishes to speak.
[[Page 8402]]
    In order to allow everyone a chance to speak at a public meeting,
we may limit speaker time, extend the meeting hours, or both. You must
identify yourself, and any organization you represent by name. Your
remarks will be recorded and/or transcribed for inclusion in the public
    You may submit written material at the public meeting, either in
place of, or in addition to, speaking. Written material should include
your name and address and will be included in the public docket.
    Public docket materials will be made available to the public on the
Federal Docket Management Facility website (see ADDRESSES).
    Our public meeting location is wheelchair-accessible and compliant
with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you plan to attend the
open house or public meeting and need special assistance such as sign
language interpretation, non-English language translator services or
other reasonable accommodation, please notify the USCG or MARAD (see
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least 5 business days in advance of
the public meeting. Include your contact information as well as
information about your specific needs.
Request for Comments
    We request public comment on this proposal. The comments may relate
to, but are not limited to, the environmental impact of the proposed
action. All comments will be accepted. The public meeting is not the
only opportunity you have to comment on the SPOT deepwater port license
application. In addition to, or in place of, attending a meeting, you
may submit comments directly to the Federal Docket Management Facility
during the public comment period (see Dates). We will consider all
comments and material received during the 30-day scoping period.
    The license application, comments and associated documentation, as
well as the draft and final EISs (when published), are available for
viewing at the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website: under docket number MARAD-2019-0011.
    Public comment submissions should include:
     Docket number MARAD-2019-0011.
     Your name and address.
    Submit comments or material using only one of the following
     Electronically (preferred for processing) to the Federal
Docket Management System (FDMS) website:
under docket number MARAD-2019-0011.
     By mail to the Federal Docket Management Facility (MARAD-
2019-0011), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground
Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-
     By personal delivery to the room and address listed above
between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal
     By fax to the Federal Docket Management Facility at 202-
    Faxed, mailed or hand delivered submissions must be unbound, no
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches and suitable for copying and electronic
scanning. The format of electronic submissions should also be no larger
than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches. If you mail your submission and want to know
when it reaches the Federal Docket Management Facility, please include
a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    Regardless of the method used for submitting comments, all
submissions will be posted, without change, to the FDMS website ( and will include any personal information you
provide. Therefore, submitting this information to the docket makes it
public. You may wish to read the Privacy and Use Notice that is
available on the FDMS website and the Department of Transportation
Privacy Act Notice that appeared in the Federal Register on April 11,
2000 (65 FR 19477), see Privacy Act. You may view docket submissions at
the Federal Docket Management Facility or electronically on the FDMS
    Information about deepwater ports, the statutes, and regulations
governing their licensing, including the application review process,
and the receipt of the current application for the proposed SPOT
deepwater port appears in the SPOT Notice of Application, March 4, 2019
edition of the Federal Register. The ``Summary of the Application''
from that publication is reprinted below for your convenience.
    Consideration of a deepwater port license application includes
review of the proposed deepwater port's impact on the natural and human
environment. For the proposed deepwater port, USCG and MARAD are the
co-lead Federal agencies for determining the scope of this review, and
in this case, it has been determined that review must include
preparation of an EIS. This NOI is required by 40 CFR 1501.7. It
briefly describes the proposed action, possible alternatives and our
proposed scoping process. You can address any questions about the
proposed action, the scoping process or the EIS to the USCG or MARAD
project managers identified in this notice (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Proposed Action and Alternatives
    The proposed action requiring environmental review is the Federal
licensing of the proposed deepwater port described in ``Summary of the
Application'' below. The alternatives to licensing the proposed port
are: (1) Licensing with conditions (including conditions designed to
mitigate environmental impact), (2) evaluation of deepwater port and
onshore site/pipeline route alternatives or (3) denying the
application, which for purposes of environmental review is the ``no-
action'' alternative.
Scoping Process
    Public scoping is an early and open process for identifying and
determining the scope of issues to be addressed in the EIS. Scoping
begins with this notice, continues through the public comment period
(see Dates), and ends when USCG and MARAD have completed the following
     Invites the participation of Federal, state, and local
agencies, any affected Indian tribe, the applicant, in this case SPOT,
and other interested persons;
     Determines the actions, alternatives and impacts described
in 40 CFR 1508.25;
     Identifies and eliminates from detailed study, those
issues that are not significant or that have been covered elsewhere;
     Identifies other relevant permitting, environmental review
and consultation requirements;
     Indicates the relationship between timing of the
environmental review and other aspects of the application process; and
     At its discretion, exercises the options provided in 40
CFR 1501.7(b).
    Once the scoping process is complete, USCG and MARAD will prepare a
draft EIS. When complete, MARAD will publish a Federal Register notice
announcing public availability of the Draft EIS. (If you want that
notice to be sent to you, please contact the USCG or MARAD project
manager identified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You will have
an opportunity to review and comment on the Draft EIS. The USCG, MARAD
and other appropriate cooperating agencies will consider the received
comments and then prepare the Final EIS. As with the Draft EIS, we will
announce the availability of the Final EIS and give you an opportunity
[[Page 8403]]
for review and comment. The Act requires a final public hearing to be
held in the Adjacent Coastal State. Its purpose is to receive comments
on matters related to whether or not an operating license should be
issued. The final public hearing will be held after the Final EIS is
made available for public review and comment.
Summary of the Application
    SPOT is proposing to construct, own, and operate a deepwater port
terminal in the Gulf of Mexico to export domestically produced crude
oil. Use of the deepwater port would include the loading of various
grades of crude oil at flow rates of up to 85,000 barrels per hour
(bph). The SPOT deepwater port would allow for up to two (2) very large
crude carriers (VLCCs) or other crude oil carriers to moor at single
point mooring (SPM) buoys and connect with the deepwater port via
floating connecting crude oil hoses and a floating vapor recovery hose.
The maximum frequency of loading VLCCs or other crude oil carriers
would be 2 million barrels per day, 365 days per year.
    The overall project would consist of offshore and marine components
as well as onshore components as described below.
    The SPOT deepwater port offshore and marine components would
consist of the following:
     One (1) fixed offshore platform with eight (8) piles in
Galveston Area Outer Continental Shelf lease block 463, approximately
27.2 to 30.8 nautical miles off the coast of Brazoria County, Texas in
a water depth of approximately 115 feet. The fixed offshore platform
would be comprised of four (4) decks including: A sump deck with shut-
down valves and open drain sump; a cellar deck with pig launchers and
receivers, generators, and three (3) vapor combustion units; a main
deck with a lease automatic custody transfer (LACT) unit, oil
displacement prover loop, living quarters, electrical and instrument
building, and other ancillary equipment; and a laydown deck with a
crane laydown area.
     Two (2) single point mooring buoys (SPMs), each having:
Two (2) 24-inch inside diameter crude oil underbuoy hoses
interconnecting with the crude oil pipeline end manifold (PLEM); two
(2) 24-inch inside diameter floating crude oil hoses connecting the
moored VLCC or other crude oil carrier for loading to the SPM buoy; one
(1) 24-inch inside diameter vapor recovery underbuoy hose
interconnecting with the vapor recovery PLEM; and one (1) 24-inch
inside diameter floating vapor recovery hose to connect to the moored
VLCC or other crude oil carrier for loading. The floating hoses would
be approximately 800 feet in length and rated for 300 psig (21-bar).
Each floating hose would contain an additional 200 feet of 16-inch
``tail hose'' that is designed to be lifted and robust enough for
hanging over the edge railing of the VLCC or other crude oil carrier.
The underbuoy hoses would be approximately 160 feet in length and rated
for 300 psig (21-bar).
     Four (4) PLEMS would provide the interconnection between
the pipelines and the SPM buoys. Each SPM buoy would have two (2)
PLEMs--one (1) PLEM for crude oil and one (1) PLEM for vapor recovery.
Each crude oil loading PLEM would be supplied with crude oil by two (2)
30-inch outside diameter pipelines, each approximately 0.66 nautical
miles in length. Each vapor recovery PLEM would route recovered vapor
from the VLCC or other crude oil carrier through the PLEM to the three
(3) vapor combustion units located on the platform topside via two (2)
16-inch outside diameter vapor recovery pipelines, each approximately
0.66 nautical miles in length.
     Two (2) co-located 36-inch outside diameter, 40.8-nautical
mile long crude oil pipelines would be constructed from the shoreline
crossing in Brazoria County, Texas, to the SPOT deepwater port for
crude oil delivery. These pipelines, in conjunction with 12.2 statute
miles of new-build onshore pipelines (described below), would connect
the onshore crude oil storage facility and pumping station (Oyster
Creek Terminal) to the offshore SPOT deepwater port. The crude oil
would be metered at the offshore platform. Pipelines would be bi-
directional for the purposes of maintenance, pigging, changing crude
oil grades, or evacuating the pipeline with water.
    The SPOT deepwater port onshore storage and supply components would
consist of the following:
     New equipment and piping at the existing Enterprise Crude
Houston (ECHO) Terminal to provide interconnectivity with the crude oil
supply network for the SPOT Project. This would include the
installation of four (4) booster pumps, one (1) measurement skid, and
four (4) crude oil pumps.
     An interconnection between the existing Rancho II pipeline
and the proposed ECHO to Oyster Creek pipeline consisting of a physical
connection as well as ultrasonic measurement capability for pipeline
volumetric balancing purposes.
     The proposed Oyster Creek Terminal located in Brazoria
County, Texas, on approximately 140 acres of land consisting of seven
(7) aboveground storage tanks, each with a total storage capacity of
685,000 barrels (600,000 barrels working storage capacity), for a total
onshore storage capacity of approximately 4.8 million barrels (4.2
million barrels working storage) of crude oil. The Oyster Creek
Terminal also would include: Six (6) electric-driven mainline crude oil
pumps; four (4) electric driven booster crude oil pumps--two (2) per
pipeline to the SPOT deepwater port, working in parallel to move crude
oil from the storage tanks through the measurement skids; two (2) crude
oil pipeline pig launchers/receivers; one (1) crude oil pipeline pig
receiver; two (2) measurement skids for measuring incoming crude oil--
one (1) skid located at the incoming pipeline from the existing
Enterprise Crude Houston (ECHO) Terminal, and one (1) skid installed
and reserved for a future pipeline connection; two (2) measurement
skids for measuring departing crude oil; three (3) vapor combustion
units--two (2) permanent and one (1) portable; and ancillary facilities
to include electrical substation, office, and warehouse buildings.
     Three onshore crude oil pipelines would be constructed
onshore to support the SPOT deepwater port. These would include: One
(1) 50.1 statute mile long 36-inch crude oil pipeline from the existing
ECHO Terminal to the Oyster Creek Terminal. This pipeline would be
located in Harris County and Brazoria County, Texas; two (2) 12.2
statute mile long, co-located 36-inch crude oil export pipelines from
the Oyster Creek Terminal to the shore crossing where these would join
the above described subsea pipelines supplying the SPOT deepwater port.
These pipelines would be located in Brazoria County, Texas.
Privacy Act
    DOT posts comments, without edit, to, as
described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL-14 FDMS, accessible
through To facilitate comment tracking and
response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of
their organization; however, submission of names is completely
optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely
comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments
containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the
agency for alternate submission instructions.
(Authority: 49 CFR Sec.  1.93).
[[Page 8404]]
    Dated: March 4, 2019.
    By Order of the Maritime Administrator.
T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr.
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-04101 Filed 3-6-19; 8:45 am]