Ike's supply toll rises as more closures reported

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 14 -- Assessments of Hurricane Ike's blow to US oil supply climbed as new closure reports reached government agencies.

The center of the wide storm made landfall near Galveston, Tex., in the early morning of Sept. 13, knocking out electrical power in most of Houston and many surrounding communities. Damage was widespread from a combination of unusually strong storm surge, a very large wind field, and windspeeds just below Category 3 hurricane status.

The Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability added two refineries to the closure list it issued before the hurricane came ashore (OGJ Online, Sept. 12, 2008).

On Sept. 14, it confirmed 15 refinery closures representing 3.86 million b/d of capacity, about 22% of the US total reported in the 2008 Oil & Gas Journal Worldwide Refining Report.

The DOE office reported one refinery down in the Lake Charles region with capacity of 78,000 b/d; four in the Port Arthur area with combined capacities of 1.155 million b/d; nine in the Houston/Galvestion region with capacities of 2.34 million b/d; and one in Corpus Christi with 288,000 b/d.

It also updated its assessment of Gulf Coast gas processing, saying 30 of 39 plants in Hurricane Ike's path were confirmed shut down, representing 14.55 bcfd of capacity. At least eight gas processing plants with 2.9 bcfd of capacity were operating at reduced rates, it said.

The US Minerals Managment Service said shut-in production on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf totaled 1.296 million b/d of crude oil, 99.7% of normal output, and 7.285 bcfd of natural gas, 98.4% of normal.

MMS said 611 of 717 normally manned production platforms had been evacuated. Crews had been removed from 101 drilling rigs.

Ports were closed from Houston to Lake Charles, La., and some ports elsewhere were not operating at full capacity.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port was operating from its Clovelly storage facility but was not offloading tankers.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites not in operation were those at Bryan Mound and Big Hill, Tex., and West Hackberry, La.

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