Welcome to Baja Online Realty Blog Sign in | Help

U.S. Refineries Shut, Slow Operations as Hurricane Gustav Nears

By Jordan Burke Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) --
go to original

 Refineries operated by Valero Energy Corp., ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. are closing as Hurricane Gustav nears the U.S. Gulf Coast, where about 41 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located. At least eight refineries are shutting, taking with them about 1.56 million barrels a day of crude oil processing capacity, or 9.8 percent of the U.S. total. Another five refineries are operating at reduced rates. Gustav will make landfall along the Gulf Coast sometime tomorrow as a ``major'' hurricane, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The storm was about 215 miles (346 kilometers) from the mouth of the Mississippi River at 5 p.m. Miami time and was packing winds of 115 miles an hour. The storm, which may reach Louisiana as early as midday tomorrow, is forecast to strengthen as it crosses the Gulf. Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.67, or 1.5 percent, to $117.13 a barrel at 4:56 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 20 percent this year. Gasoline for October delivery gained 7.62 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.9304 a gallon on the exchange. Refineries in Texas and Louisiana can process 6.44 million barrels a day of oil, turning it into products including gasoline and diesel fuel. About 28 percent, or 2.36 million barrels a day, of the U.S. gasoline supply is produced along the Gulf Coast, according to the Energy Department. In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita idled about 19 percent of U.S. refining capacity. Gulf Oil, Gas Production U.S. companies have idled 96 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil output and 82 percent of natural-gas production as Hurricane Gustav moves toward the region, the Minerals Management Service said in a statement on its Web site. Personnel from 86 offshore rigs and 518 production platforms have been evacuated. About 1.25 million barrels of daily oil output and 6.09 billion cubic feet of gas a day have been shut in the region. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 26 percent of U.S. oil output and 14 percent of natural-gas production. The Gulf normally produces an estimated 1.3 million barrels of oil and 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas a day, according to the agency, part of the U.S. Interior Department. Valero, the largest U.S. refiner, is shutting down its St. Charles, Louisiana refinery, which can process 185,000 barrels per day. Valero's Port Arthur, Houston and Texas City, Texas refineries are running at reduced rates. Combined the plants can process about 572,000 barrels a day. Valero is based in San Antonio. Motiva, ConocoPhillips Motiva Enterprises LLC, a Houston-based joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Arabia's state oil company, said it will shut its Norco, Louisiana, plant, which can process 236,400 barrels a day. Motiva will also reduce rates at its Convent refinery, which can process about 235,000 barrels a day, and its 285,000 barrel-a-day Port Arthur plant. ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, is shutting its Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery, which can process 239,000 barrels a day, and its Alliance refinery in Belle Chase, Louisiana, which can process about 247,000 barrels per day. Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. is shutting its Garyville, Louisiana, refinery, which can process about 256,000 barrels a day. El Dorado, Arkansas-based Murphy Oil Corp. shut its Meraux, Louisiana plant located near New Orleans. The refinery can process about 120,000 barrels a day. Chalmette Refining LLC, a joint venture between Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, is shutting its Chalmette, Louisiana location. The refinery can process about 193,000 barrels per day. Alon USA Energy Inc. based in Dallas, shut its Krotz Springs, Louisiana, which can process about 80,000 barrels a day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan Burke in New York at jburke29@bloomberg.net.

Published Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:10 PM by Zinnia Q.


# U.S. Refineries Shut, Slow Operations as Hurricane Gustav Nears | Mexican Real Estate

Anonymous comments are disabled