Oil & Gas

23 Feb 2021

Texas Refineries Restarting After Power Loss

23 Feb 2021  by Elliott Blackburn   
Texas refineries reported restarting units shut last week after subfreezing temperatures and a power crisis abruptly cut 28pc of US crude processing capacity.

Motiva was today restarting the single largest US refining complex, its 600,000 b/d refinery in Port Arthur, following a shutdown last week. All Corpus Christi area refineries reported restart work underway this week. ExxonMobil said it was beginning restart work at its 362,000 b/d refinery in Beaumont, Texas.

Subfreezing conditions forced electricity and natural gas curtailments that reduced or shut down more than 5.1mn b/d of Texas refining. Conditions affected nearly every refinery in the state, from near the Louisiana border to the western edge in El Paso.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the electrical grid covering most of the state, lifted emergency conditions on 19 February. Natural gas curtailments ordered by the Texas Railroad Commission, the state's main oil and gas regulator, remain in effect until tomorrow. But refiners are signaling that they are able to proceed with restart work at their facilities.

Electrical transmission infrastructure and refineries both appeared to avoid major damage when storms began cutting across the region on 14 February, supporting a faster recovery for energy infrastructure.

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