US oil industry struggling with freezing temperatures – Reuters
A severe winter storm shut a US Gulf Coast refinery in Texas on Tuesday, caused a glitch at some other petroleum plants, and halved North Dakota oil production, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
People familiar with TotalEnergies’ operations told the outlet that a 38,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, was examining units after a plantwide blackout on Tuesday morning due to a brutal cold snap.
In North Dakota, oil production declined by half on Tuesday to between 600,000 and 650,000 barrels per day, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.
The report also said that Exxon Mobil returned a gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker and a coker at its 564,440-bpd refinery in the Houston suburb of Baytown, Texas, to normal operation after a malfunction triggered by blistering cold.
Flint Hills Resources’ 343,000-bpd refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, was reportedly also significantly impacted by unseasonably cold weather. Meanwhile, Petroleum company Delek reported a malfunction due to cold temperatures on Sunday at its 73,000-bpd refinery in Big Spring, Texas.
Another petroleum refineries company, Valero Energy, launched a scheduled overhaul on the large crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 335,000-bpd refinery in Port Arthur on Monday, according to people familiar with plant operations. Reuters also reported that three refineries in Port Arthur, including Motiva Enterprises’ 626,000-bpd plant, have major units shut.
A record-breaking Arctic blast has been sweeping across much of the United States, keeping schools closed and flights grounded. Wind chills in parts of North Dakota have been reaching -70F (-56C). According to a database maintained by USA Today, 197,000 households across the country have no power as of early on Wednesday, including 22,000 utility customers in Texas.
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