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Terminal News

Oil & gas industry starts recovery from storm Harvey

Picture credit: NASA
Picture credit: NASA
Storage and pipeline operators, refineries and ports have resumed operations in the wake of storm Harvey.

The storm, which at its peak, was a category 4 hurricane, resulted in the deaths of at least 60 people, and left thousands of people homeless.

Several companies and organisations have pledged donations for the Harvey relief effort. Exxonmobil has pledged $9.5 million, Crestwood Equity Partners plans to donate $125,000, Dow Chemical Company has pledged $1 million and Anadarko has donated $1 million. Additionally, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, NuStar and Phillips 66 have also pledged donations.

In addition to halting operations and impacting global energy markets, in the week after the storm hit, more than one million pounds of dangerous air pollutants were released from oil refineries and chemical plants along the Gulf Coast, according to the Centre for Biological Diversity.

On Tuesday, August 29, rising water levels within the Guadalupe river system washed out four storage tanks at one of ConocoPhillips' well sites in DeWitt County, Texas.

The tanks are used to temporarily store produced oil and produced water from the well. The tanks held approximately 385 barrels of oil and 76 barrels of produced water but the actual spill volume has not been determined. At the time, the well remained shut-in, so no oil and water were flowing to the tanks.

The company says that all applicable federal and state regulatory agencies were notified immediately.

In the early hours of August 31, Arkema was notified of two explosions and black smoke coming from its plant in Crosby, Texas. An evacuation zone of 1.5 miles from the plant had been previously established and has since been removed. It shut down operations on the Friday before the storm made landfall.

The company says: 'Our site followed its hurricane preparation plan in advance of the recent hurricane and we had redundant contingency plans in place. However, unprecedented flooding overwhelmed our primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. As a result, we lost critical refrigeration of the products on site. Some of our organic peroxides products burn if not stored at low temperatures.'

The site remains closed.

Operations resume

According to S&P Global Platts, on September 5, Colonial Pipeline, the largest US refined products pipeline, resumed petrol shipments on its Line 1 from Houston and Pasadena, Texas.

It resumed pumping of diesel and jet fuel shipments on its line two on September 4.

Enterprise Products Partners has restarted substantially all of its major assets impacted by the storm, including its ethane and LPG loading terminals on the Houston Ship Channel.

Plans to allow crude carriers into the Houston Ship Channel are likely to be delayed as a result of a sunken dry dock in the waterway.

The Port of Corpus Christi has been opened, but some restrictions remain in place as it continues to survey all channels and inlets in the harbour.

Magellan has restarted two long-haul Texas crude oil pipelines – Bridge Tex and Long Horn and it has also started up a 180,000 b/d refined products pipeline that starts at its East Houston terminal in Texas.

Picture credit: NASA


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