The energy story this week is still centered in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma – and how those storms will continue to impact the energy markets from both a supply and demand side.
The obvious outcome in the Gulf Coast of Harvey has been a lot of crude oil waiting to be turned into product. Much of that crude was intelligently shipped into the Gulf Coast in front of the storm, swelling storage there and in Cushing. There is now a tremendous pressure among the refiners to restart operations as quickly as possible and restore product inventories moving back down the chain.
From all indications, all of that is going smoothly. There were tremendous lessons learned from super-storm Katrina and Gulf of Mexico assets were sealed tighter than a drum while refineries were also prepared to withstand the very worst. In all but a few cases, those refineries are coming back up without incident.
And the big Colonial pipeline, responsible for so much of the product transport from the Gulf towards the East is again fully loaded and back up to speed after a very short down time. In short, the refiners are back to work with few long-term consequences.
But what about the production that was sidelined by Harvey? And how are the markets going to react to the restarts?
Goldman Sachs’ analysis says that DEMAND, not supply, will be the significant outcome from the two storms. Their claim is that the sidelining of business and driving in the U.S. number…