Texas refineries escape serious damage
Houston, September 14, 2008
Eight of the 14 Texas oil refineries shut down before Hurricane Ike showed little visible sign of serious damage or flooding in the storm's wake.
In the Texas City area, the facilities included BP's 467,000 barrel per day refinery, Valero Energy's 200,000 bpd refinery and Marathon's 76,000 bpd Texas City plant.
During a tour of the refineries, none of the Texas City plants had electricity for lighting and only BP and Valero had visible flares as darkness fell.
There was no evidence of significant flooding and only shallow standing water at Marathon's facility.
BP's refinery showed the only sign of wind damage. A warehouse had a damaged roof and part of a brick wall on the same building had collapsed.
In the Houston area, the refineries included Valero's 130,000 bpd Houston refinery, Lyondell's 270,600 bpd Houston refinery, Pasadena's 100,000 bpd Houston refinery, Shell Oil's 340,000 bpd Deer Park refinery and Exxon Mobil's 567,000 bpd Baytown refinery.
All the Houston refineries except Valero's Houston plant had some lights. The only one with any visible damage was the Lyondell plant where two storage tanks showed minor tears in the outer walls.
Hurricane Ike forced shut some 14 refineries in Texas accounting for more than a fifth of US fuel production, triggering a spike in prices at the nation's gasoline pumps.
Valero said crews had found "no significant structural damage" to its Houston, Texas City and Port Arthur refineries after the storm. All three Valero facilities lack power to production units, Valero said in a news release. No restart timetable was given. - Reuters