Monday, 18 June, 2018

Texas refineries begin restart after hit from Harvey

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey Harvey continues to hit Texas and Louisiana
Preston Stone | 03 September, 2017, 14:45

As many as 11 ports were shut during Harvey's five-day spin across hundreds of miles of the Texas coast, leaving 28 tankers laden with more than 18 million barrels of overseas oil drifting offshore as of Wednesday night.

"In a matter of days the final gasoline supplies are going to get to Atlanta, then SC, then North Carolina, then up the line", GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan said Thursday, warning that panic buying would only exacerbate the situation.

With Hurricane Harvey shutting down more than 15 Texas oil refineries, including the nation's largest refinery in Port Arthur, the entire eastern half of the USA could be in store for a significant spike in gasoline prices in the coming week.

The company said it expected to resume service on its Houston crude oil distribution system over the weekend.

Colonial Pipeline Co. said Thursday that it's not getting enough fuel to operate its pipeline between Houston and Lake Charles, La., where half of the 26 refineries that supply the pipeline are located. The contract fell by as much as 3% to $1.7189 per gallon. Seven other ports remained closed.

The pipeline's operator estimated Thursday that it can resume carrying fuel in the Houston area by Sunday, potentially avoiding a lengthy shutdown that would intensify gasoline shortages.

But much energy infrastructure remained offline, including the largest USA refinery, the 603,000 bpd facility in Port Arthur, Texas, owned by Motiva Enterprises LLC [MOTIV.UL].

Presidents Moon, Trump agree to revise missile guidelines
A long line of USA presidents has failed to check North Korea's persistent pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons . Kim was also quoted as saying that North Korea can now produce as many powerful nuclear weapons "as it wants".

Traders have tentatively booked this week almost 40 tankers - the equivalent of about 1.5 million tonnes of gasoline - out of Europe to carry gasoline on the transatlantic route, including destinations such as New York, Mexico and Brazil, according to shipping data and traders.

"Basically this will affect everyone across the country on some level and your proximity to the supply chain will affect how severe the impact is to you", said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives, which represents 80 percent of all gasoline volume sold in the country. At the same time, some refiners including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Marathon Petroleum Corp. are preparing to restart plants. Prior to that, exchange agreements also occurred in 2008 during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Black barrels represent oil refineries. The sale was the first in a series of planned draw-downs through 2025 totaling nearly 190 million barrels, or 27 percent of the reserve.

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Saturday it was restarting its 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) facility in Baytown, Texas, America's second-biggest oil refinery, after it was inundated by flooding.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the USA exported just 800,000 barrels a day of mostly refined products.

"We had a half a tank, but made a decision to get more, just in case", said Maria Linares, a school teacher whose husband was topping their car's tank. The government plans to supply 1 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to a Gulf Coast plant, the first emergency release in five years.

Information for this article was contributed by Jessica Summers, Lucia Kassai, Catherine Traywick, Dan Murtaugh and Javier Blas of Bloomberg News and Jeff Martin of The Associated Press.

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