The Port of Corpus Christi is currently number one in the nation in terms of crude oil exports, and the future is brighter than ever. Especially since the process has already begun for deepening and widening the Corpus Christi ship channel.

Also contributing to that bright future is a planned oil pipeline that would run from the Permian basin all the way to Corpus Christi.

"We want to make sure that the producers understand that we are open for business," said Jarl Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Corpus Christi.

Pedersen will be among those attending the Energy Exchange.

"It's important for us in Corpus Christi because we are connecting the dots," Pedersen said. "We are connecting the producing areas for oil and gas with the world."

That is exactly why Port representatives will be promoting Corpus Christi as "the gateway to progress as the energy port of the Americas."

Pedersen said the Port will play a key roll in the business of oil exports.

"Every incremental barrel that is produced, whether it's in the Eagle Ford or the Permian Basin, will have to go to the world," Pedersen said. "It has to go to the export markets, and the export markets are hungry for it. So the export markets, you can see a $5-6 higher price compared to the U.S. price, so obviously producers want to get it to those higher paying markets."

The extensive ship channel deepening and widening project approved by the Army Corps of Engineers means the Port will be able to handle large crude carrying ships.

"These vessels will be larger and obviously the construction project will create jobs," Pedersen said.

Getting the oil from the Permian Basin is another step. The EPIC pipeline -- an acronym for Eagle Ford, Permian, Ingleside, Corpus Christi -- is just one of several proposed pipelines. Whichever proposal becomes reality, Pedersen said they will know that the Port of Corpus Christi will be where they want to send their pipelines too.