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Power Demand Rebounds As Hurricane Florence Passes

Power demand in the Carolinas rebounded over the weekend as utilities started to restore service to millions of affected customers after Hurricane Florence made a landfall on Friday and brought epic rainfall and life-threatening flooding.

On Sunday afternoon, Duke Energy said that it had restored power to more than 1 million customers in the wake of Florence, which has now been downgraded to a tropical depression but continues to pound the Carolinas with heavy rain. Around 400,000 customers are still without power, Duke Energy said on Sunday afternoon, noting that “challenging restoration work remains.”

Florence is still a dangerous storm, authorities warn, while 17 storm-related deaths have been confirmed so far—eleven in North Carolina and six in South Carolina.

Oil and natural gas systems reported steady operations during the storm, while most terminals and ports on the Carolinas coast reopened by Sunday, except for North Carolina ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, which will stay closed until Wednesday.

Colonial and Plantation pipelines for refined product supplies operated normally throughout the storm.

According to Platts Analytics, the total lost demand for gasoline, diesel, and distillates, and kerosene jet fuel is expected at between 180,000 bpd and 220,000 bpd for the next four weeks.

Related: The U.S. Calls On Russia To Cap Soaring Oil Prices

Before Florence hit onshore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had temporarily waived air pollution rules in Georgia and Virginia as locals were preparing for the landfall to cause a decline in fuel supply.

Gasoline stocks in the East Coast (PADD 1) grew slightly to 66.8 million barrels for the week ended September 7, which was 12 million barrels higher than were they were last year at this time, AAA said a day before the landfall, quoting EIA data.

“The additional barrels of gasoline may provide a slight price and supply buffer as Hurricane Florence hits the region. However, even if there is adequate supply in light of demand – which will drop after the storm – power outages, flooding and intense rainfall may still hamper gasoline deliveries and dispensing at local gas stations impacted by the storm,” AAA said.


By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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