Enero 22, 2018

Oil Edges Up as Harvey Disrupts US Crude Flow

04 Setiembre 2017, 02:38 | Dolorita Barahona

Daily October West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil

WTI Crude Oil

Nearly 3 million barrels of oil a day can't be refined into gasoline and other products - about 16% of US refining capacity, according to Goldman Sachs.

Gas prices rose by 17 cents in just a week after Harvey's devastating landfall in Texas shuttered several refineries in the Gulf. He is part of a group that forecasts where gas prices are likely to go.

Motiva Enterprises began shutting down its 603,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the nation's largest, on Tuesday evening because of flooding within the plant, said sources familiar with plant operations. The disruptions are also weighing on global crude futures, helping drive up processing profits thousands of miles away from Harvey's trail of destruction on the US Gulf Coast. Goldman Sachs said in a research note that an estimated 3 million barrels per day of refining capacity was offline, as of Monday.

Already, gasoline prices in the US have hit $2 per gallon for the first time since 2015, according to Reuters, as flooding from Harvey knocked out nearly a quarter of USA refineries, while the storm moves inland over Louisiana.

Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday Texas will not run out of gasoline despite refinery issues.

Given the strictures faced by the refineries, "This is the dominoes starting to fall", Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy, said Sunday.

Motorists should expect gas prices to rise another 5-10 cents in the near-term, however, a number of developments today could ease concerns of tight supply in the Southeast.

According to Eikon shipping data, the Ridgebury Julia, a tanker carrying oil products, was diverted earlier this week.

"This is going to be the worst thing the USA has seen in decades from an energy standpoint", said an East Coast market source, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Buyers for Latin America, where many countries are heavily reliant on United States supplies, are trying to buy cargoes. More than one-fifth of US refining capacity has been shuttered, according to S&P Global Platts. "Electrical power, ability of personnel to reach the refineries, and distribution of crude oil and petroleum products remain potential challenges to quickly restarting the refineries".

The shutdown of two refineries made it hard to get the gas where it needed to be. USA crude futures rose $1.10 a barrel, or 2.46%, to $47.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In recent days the agency granted waivers in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and other states on rules that normally require the use of low-volatility gasoline during the summer.

In Texas, Shell was assessing the impact of Harvey, but a spokesman did not respond to a question about the status of its Sugarland terminal in St. James, used for crude exports.

It could take two weeks or longer before big refineries in the Houston area can recover from a record-setting deluge and resume normal operations.

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