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U.S. Department
of Transportation

Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

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Fact Sheet: Marine Terminals

Quick Facts:

  • Marine terminals are used to load or unload vessels that transport crude oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Marine terminals are located in ocean and inland ports in the United States. They are used to load and offload tankers and other vessels that transport unrefined petroleum, petroleum products, and LNG.

One well-known marine terminal is the Port of Valdez in Alaska. Valdez is the terminus for the Trans Alaska pipeline system, that transports crude oil from the Alaskan North Slope to the ice-free port at Valdez. There, the crude oil is loaded onto ocean-going tankers for transportation to the ”Lower-48” and other locations.

In reverse, tankers can be offloaded at marine terminals. Crude oil or LNG is transferred to storage facilities, and held for transport to processing and refining facilities, or for loading onto shallow-draft vessels, such as barges, for further transport.

Regulation of Marine Terminals

Marine terminals are normally regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard’s jurisdiction extends from the first isolation valve inside of the secondary containment of the marine terminal to the vessel.

Marine Terminals: Where can I learn more?

Date of Revision: 02262018