© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Refinery workers walk inside the LyondellBasell oil refinery in Houston
By Arpan Varghese (Reuters) – Freezing temperatures in Texas over the extended holiday weekend forced energy companies to shut down oil refineries in America’s largest crude-producing state and restricted pipeline operations. The unusual freeze led the state’s power grid operator to impose rolling blackouts, leaving nearly 3 million customers without power. President Joe Biden declared an emergency Monday, unlocking federal assistance to Texas. Texas produces approximately 4.6 million barrels of oil a day and is home to some of the largest refineries in the country, scattered throughout the Gulf Coast. In Midland, the heart of the US Permian shale region, temperatures were in the single digits Fahrenheit. Motiva Enterprises said it was closing its Port Arthur, Texas complex, which includes its 607,000 barrel-a-day refinery, the largest in the United States. Exxon (NYSE 🙂 has also started shutting down its 369,024 bpd Beaumont refinery and 560,500 bpd Baytown refinery and adjacent chemical plant in Texas, sources familiar with the plant’s operations said. Its Baton Rouge facility in Louisiana experienced operational problems. Citgo Petroleum Corp said some units at its 167,500 bpd Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery were closed. Sources familiar with the plant’s operations previously said that the crude distillation unit, a reformer and a hydrotreater were shut down due to cold weather at the refinery, and all other units were also shut down. The cold snap also forced Lyondell Basell’s 263,776 bpd Houston refinery to operate at minimal production and shut down most of the units at Marathon’s 585,000 bpd Galveston Bay plant. “We are also receiving reports of power outages across the Permian, which are expected to continue into the weekend if the current weather system persists. This may result in intermittent production shutdowns, with a moderate impact on the country’s oil production. Permian expected in February “. “Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen, said in a note. [O/R] Power distribution stagnated in much of the United States. Kinder Morgan’s (NYSE 🙂 Natural Gas Pipeline Co. reported capacity limitations at various locations in its pipeline system, while Enable Gas Transmission said it was taking steps to ensure adequate supply for customers. [PIPE/OUT] Pipeline operator Enbridge (NYSE 🙂 Inc. said Monday that a 585,000 bpd pipeline runs from its terminal near Pontiac, Illinois, outside Chicago, to the largest oil storage facility in the United States. in Cushing, Oklahoma, it was stopped due to power outages. “Crews are working with the utility providers to restore power to Line 59,” as the pipeline is called, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said. “The power outage is due to the winter storm the United States is experiencing.” Colonial Pipeline Co, the largest petroleum products pipeline in the United States, said there were no significant impacts on operations at this time due to weather. Icy weather conditions also prompted Port Houston’s public terminals to suspend ship operations from Sunday night through Monday.