Texas, as hurricane Harvey caused flooding and extreme weather, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the refinery operations.
Exxon shut the 240,000-bpd Crude B unit, and the 45,000-bpd coking unit at Beaumont earlier on Tuesday.
As of 3 pm ET yesterday, Exxon said that the “Beaumont refinery continues to operate at reduced rates, and has safely shut down some units as a result of adverse weather.”
Exxon also shut down on Monday the Baytown complex—the second largest refinery in the United States with a capacity of 560,500 bpd.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Exxon’s Baton Rouge facilities were operating as normal, the company said in its latest safety and operations update on Hurricane Harvey.
Exxon is just one of many companies curtailing or completely shutting refinery operations as Harvey slammed Texas, and made landfall again early on Wednesday just west of Cameron, Louisiana. “Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 4:00am CDT advisory today.
In Texas, Royal Dutch Shell closed its 360,000-bpd Deer Park refinery, and sources tell Reuters that the biggest refinery in the U.S.—the 603,000-bpd Port Arthur refinery—was shutting down on Tuesday, due to flooding. Over the past two days, the refinery had cut its operating capacity to 40 percent. The Port Arthur shutdown brings the total refinery outage due to Harvey at 19.6 percent, or 3.65 million bpd, of U.S. refining capacity, according to Reuters calculations.
As a result, gasoline futures continue to soar, and the front-month contract was up 5.34 percent at US$1.8786 at 11:44 AM CST on Wednesday. Related: Oil Prices Rise As Texas Braces For Hurricane Harvey Landfall
In production, Exxon said on Tuesday that its systems are safe and operational at the Hadrian South subsea production system in the Gulf of Mexico, and production start-up operations are underway. The Hoover and Galveston 209 platforms remain shut in, the company said, adding that it continued to monitor the weather and would make adjustments if and as needed.
As of 11:30 CDT on Tuesday, 18.26 percent of the current oil production of 1,750,000 bpd in the Gulf of Mexico had been shut-in, or 319,523 bpd, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said. Based on operator reports, 19.1 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut-in as of yesterday evening.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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