Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP, Inc.)
Grand Isle, LA, U.S.

LOOP Deepwater Oil Terminal

Fluor was responsible for the engineering and construction management of the first U.S. deepwater oil terminal and one of the largest offshore structures in the Gulf of Mexico, located 20 miles off Grand Isle, Louisiana. Fluor designed the LOOP facilities to offload as much as 100,000 barrels per hour and handle tankers of up to 700,000 dead-weight tonnage capacity. The facilities were able to off-load oil at an average daily rate of 1,400,000 barrels per day.

When the oil reaches land, a pipeline will carry it to the underground salt domes. The oil will be stored at the Clovelly Salt Dome Storage Terminal in Lafourche Parish, and distributed to refineries in the Midwest and along the Gulf Coast.

Client's Challenge

​The significant investment is a joint arrangement of the Shell, Texaco, Marathon, Murphy and Ashland oil companies operating under the entity Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP, Inc.). The purpose of the deep-water "Superport" is to provide transportation cost savings as well as reduce the probability of accidents in transporting and unloading oil. A smaller number of larger tankers eliminates many of the bottlenecks and risks of berthing and discharging tankers in traditional ports and reduces port traffic.

The LOOP project was subject to rigorous scrutiny by the State of Louisiana and the U.S. Department of Interior for environmental and permitting reviews.

Fluor's Solution

LOOP contracted Fluor to provide preliminary design, detailed engineering, engineering, engineering management, inspection and expediting, limited procurement, and construction management for America's first deepwater port. Fluor was responsible for the marine portion of the project with an installed value exceeding $150 million.​

The port consisted of three single-point mooring buoys, each taller than a four-story building; a 16-pile pumping platform with metering system; a four-pile controls and crew quarters platform; one 48-inch diameter, 19-mile submarine pipeline and three 56-inch diameter, 8,000-foot-long submarine pipelines.

A ship tied into one of the three buoys by the buoy line, allowing the ship to swing around the buoy in a 360-degree arc. By facing into the wind, the tanker could offload safely in seas up to 15 feet. Two 1,050-foot flexible, floating 24-inch diameter hoses hooked up to the cargo manifold, and pumps transferred the product. The oil then moved to the pumping platform.

From the platform, crude was boosted to shore by three 7,000-horse power electric motor-driven pumps. A 48-inch diameter submarine pipeline connected LOOP's onshore system with the pumping platform.


Th​e LOOP Superport terminal was completed in 1980 on schedule and budget.​