Exxon Mobil has announced that its Galveston 209 platform located in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the subsea production system located in the Hadrian South were back online. This was after they were shut down as a result of storm Harvey. The oil major also announced that post-storm assessment was continuing on the Hoover platform.
Exxon Mobil has also revealed that efforts aimed at restarting the Baytown refinery, the second biggest refinery in the United States, was ongoing after it was shut down as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. The hurricane wreaked havoc on the main refining hub in the United States situated along the coastline of Texas. This included Beaumont/Port Arthur, Houston and Corpus Christi where over a dozen refineries had to shut down.
Reduced refining capacity
Consequently as a result of the shutdowns, about a fifth of the refining capacity in the United States is offline and this has resulting in a rise in gasoline prices both at the retail and wholesale as concerns mount that the refineries may have been extensively damaged and it will take a while before they are fully operational.
”Our initial assessment of Exxon Mobil’s Baytown complex revealed the need for only minor repairs. We are making good progress on restart activities,” a statement from Exxon Mobil read.
How long it takes to resume normal operations for the refinery that has a production level of 560,000 barrels per day will rely on the condition and availability of transportation infrastructure. Exxon has indicated that it is cooperating with Houston Port in order to expedite vessel using the Houston Ship Channel. The oil major is also working with railroads in a bid to assist in the necessary repairs.
The other Exxon refinery located along the coast of Texas, the Beaumont facility which has a production capacity of 362,000 barrels per day, is still non-operational and there are no details as to when it will be reopened. Other firms which are also working towards resuming their refining operations includes Phillips 66 whose Sweeny refinery is preparing to restart.
Phillips 66 is currently undertaking an assessment to determine how much damage has been done and the kind of repairs and reconstruction works that need to be undertaken at the facility that has a production capacity of 247,000 barrels per day. Other refineries that are located in the region around Corpus Christi are also working towards resuming operations.