Findlay, Ohio,
10:49 PM

Anchors Aweigh! MPC Welcomes New Vessels to the Fleet

In 2015, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) announced plans to enter into a new joint venture (JV) with Crowley Petroleum Services for the ownership, operation and chartering of four new blue-water (oceangoing) motor vessels (M/Vs) with capacities of 330,000 barrels of light products per vessel. The JV marks an extension of MPC’s fleet, which previously consisted solely of brown-water (river-based) vessels.

“These new tankers will primarily be used to replace capacity that MPC currently contracts out to third parties,” notes John Swearingen, MPC senior vice president of Transportation & Logistics. “Their primary routes will be carrying light products from our refineries in Garyville, Louisiana, and Galveston Bay, Texas, to Florida, and possibly even up to the East Coast. One of the tankers, though, will also be chartered to a third-party shipper.”

Since the announcement, three of the four M/Vs – the M/V Ohio, the M/V Texas and the M/V Louisiana — have already been delivered and christened. The last remaining vessel – the M/V West Virginia – will be in service by late 2016.

In addition to operating light product and crude tankers, as well as container ships primarily between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, other parts of Crowley’s business include ship design, as well as marine salvage and environmental response.

“Crowley is the premier operator in the maritime industry,” noted Pam Beall, executive vice president, Corporate Planning and Strategy for MPLX. “We are pleased to be able to partner with them on the equity side of these investments.”