Sint Eustatius (aka Statia) is a Netherlands-owned territory in the Caribbean Sea, part of northern Leeward Islands (Dutch Antilles in West Indies) located southeast of the Virgin Islands. St Eustatius is to the northwest of St Kitts Island and southeast of Saba Island. Its capital (only settlement) is Oranjestad Town.
St Eustatius has land area approx 21 km2 (8 mi2) and population around 4,000. Islanders are bilingual - speak both Dutch and English. The island is served by FD Roosevelt Airport, with regular flights from Nevis (St Croix), Saba (St Maarten) and Anguilla Island, as well as with charter flights from Montserrat Island UK and St Barthelemy Island.
Cruise ships to Sint Eustatius Island dock (anchor) at Oranjestad - port town (and only settlement) on the western coast.
The island St Eustatius was discovered uninhabited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). The first settlement was established in the 17th century. Between 17th-19th centuries, this territory changed ownership 21 times. Initially owned by Dutch West India Company, the island was used for the cultivation of sugar and tobacco. In 1756, St Eustatius became neutral and operated as "free port" (without any customs duties). Oranjestad became a major transhipment port, and especially for contraband merchandise.
In the 18th century, Statia Island (then aka "The Golden Rock") was the most important Caribbean Dutch island in terms of trade revenues. The road along Orange Bay was lined with numerous warehouses. Statia's prosperity started to decline since 1795 with the French occupation.
Island's economy is stable, with no unemployment and well-developed infrastructure. The largest private employer is the US company NuStar Energy - one of the USA's biggest independent liquids terminal and pipeline operators. NuStar owns the oil terminal at port Oranjestad.