Hurricane Harvey scheduled to make landfall tonight near Corpus Christi, Texas
Refineries have shut down ahead of the storm
Hurricane Harvey is a tropical cyclone currently threatening to make landfall in Texas as a major hurricane, which would be the first storm of such intensity to strike the United States since Wilma in 2005 and the first to hit the state since Ike in 2008. The eighth named storm and third hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
Currently, Hurricane Harvey is located within 10 nautical miles of 27.1°N 96.3°W, about 85 miles (140 km) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, or about 90 miles (145 km) south of Port O’Connor, Texas.
REFINERIES and OIL PRODUCTION
Forty-five percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast. All of these refineries will shut down for safety reasons.
Oil production operations in the Gulf began shutting down Thursday in response to Hurricane Harvey. Here is what is happening so far:
- Anadarko (APC) has removed all personnel and temporarily shut in production at their Boomvang, Gunnison, Lucius and Nansen facilities, which are located in the western portion of the Gulf.
- ConocoPhillips (COP) has taken precaution to evacuate all non-essential personnel from our Magnolia platform in the Gulf of Mexico and they have decided to suspend drilling and completion activities in the Eagle Ford and move non-essential personnel and equipment off the drilling rigs.
- ExxonMobil (XOM) is in the process of evacuating all personnel from their facilities expected to be in the path of the storm, which includes the Hoover platform and Galveston 209 platform. The Hoover and Galveston 209 platforms are shut-in. Their Hadrian South subsea production system in the Gulf of Mexico is also shut-in.
- Shell (RDS) shut down production and has secured its Perdido asset and is in the process of returning all personnel working on Perdido to shore.
- Valero (VLO) said Friday completed the process of temporarily closing two refineries in Corpus Christi and Three Rivers.
As of Friday noon, operators had been evacuated from 39 production platforms — about 5.29 percent of the manned platforms in the Gulf — along with one rig.
As part of the evacuation procedures, operators shut the sub-surface safety valves below the surface of the ocean floor, to prevent releasing oil or gas. That means 9.56 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf has been blocked off, equating to 167,231 barrels per day. In addition, 0.04 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut down.
Houston also marks the beginning of the Colonial Pipeline, which transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, heating oil and aviation fuel each day to as far as the New York harbor. Power outages during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 forced the shutdown of parts of the Colonial Pipeline for several days.
Hurricane Harvey’s impact on U.S. oil production could extend beyond offshore platforms and Gulf Coast refineries. Extreme flooding threatens to bring Texas shale activity to a halt, and it may take weeks, if not months, before some shale fields can bounce back.
Texas is by far the largest oil producer in the U.S., and at least part of the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale formation lies in the projected path of the storm.
Motorists across the U.S. might see a spike in gasoline prices following disruptions to offshore rigs, refineries, pipelines and terminals. Pump prices could jump 15 to 25 cents a gallon nationwide.
To read timely stories similar to this, along with money making trade ideas, sign up for a membership to Stockwinners.
This article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.