Corpus Christi (KIII News) — A group of experts say the future remains bright despite all the turmoil in world trade and the threat of added tariffs.
That was the gist of a panel discussion on energy at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center Wednesday.
"We are emerging from the shadow of Houston. It really speaks volumes to what's going on in the industry today, the oil and gas industry, and we here at the Port of Corpus Christi are on the apex of that," Port CEO Sean Strawbridge said.
Strawbridge told a packed house how the Eagle Ford Shale and liquified natural gas are going to power exports from the Coastal Bend for years and maybe decades to come.
The fourth annual event held by Shale Magazine and local chambers of commerce featured a panel discussion involving a representative from the magazine, Epic Pipeline, Halliburton and an economics professor.
Shale Magazine Editor David Blackmon said refining by Texas oil and gas companies is at capacity, which puts Corpus Christi in a critical position.
"This port is a key, honest to goodness. It's just really pretty much the key to the growth of this entire industry," Blackmon said.
Meanwhile, panelist Jeff Dorrow with Epic Pipeline said the 700-mile pipelines they are building from the Permian Basin are well underway.
"Permian Basin, it takes a long time for us to build these projects. A minimum of 18 months for a lot of them," Dorrow said. "So we will be up and running with both our projects here at the end of 19."
The issue of trade tariffs was a topic of conversation but most agreed the tariffs were not expected to be in place long.
"I think if the tariffs last, and I don't think they're going to, but if they extend into 2019, tariffs on steel in particular, that will begin to present real challenges for a lot of companies in our industry," Blackmon said.
Strawbridge also noted a natural gas liquefaction plant expected to be built next year will be another major shot in the arm for the Coastal Bend economy.
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