17 Feb - Several US oil refineries forced to shut down amid cold weather
Oil industry in the US, particularly in the Texas coast, has been facing some of its coldest temperatures in more than 30 years. Freezing temperatures in the state caused power outages and subsequently forced several oil refineries and wells to shut down on February 15.
Snow storms also led logistic disruptions as roads and bridges became hazardous, with temperatures dropping to as low as -20 C.
Nearly 3.3 million barrel/day of oil refining capacity is estimated to have beeen shut due to the record-low temperatures, media reports revealed. Texas produces roughly 4.6 million barrels of oil per day and is home to 31 refineries, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Market sources reported that Motiva Enterprises halted production at its 600,000 barrel/day Texas refinery while CITGO shut its 157,500 b/d oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. Marathon Petroleum stopped production at its 585,000 b/d Galveston Bay refinery and HollyFrontier shut its 135,000 b/d Kansas refinery on Monday.
ExxonMobil’s 560,500 b/d Baytown refinery and LyondellBasell’s 268,000 b/d Houston refinery were reportedly experiencing some type of operational issue or flaring due to electricty blackouts caused by snow storms. Total SE was also reported to have been processing oil at minimal levels and shut a key refining unit at its Port Arthur, Texas plant.
At the time of writing, WTI crude oil futures were trading 1% higher from the previous session at $60.13/barrel following the shutdowns.