Category Archives: National Weather Service

Did Oil and Gas Pass ‘Unprecedented’ Weather Test?

 Issue 111 – Refineries and oil storage flooded by Harvey August 30, 2017

Introduction…August 27 Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas described by the National Weather Service as ‘unprecedented.’  This hurricane delivered torrential rainfall that was ‘unknown’ and ‘beyond any experience.’

The severity of the storm damage to the oil and gas industry of Houston and along the coast was unknown.

Valero Energy and Motiva, a Saudi Aramco subsidiary, experienced flood waters around storage tanks looking like serious and lasting damage.

Three weeks later it was apparent that lessons learned from Katrina and Rita in 2005 made operations recovery much quicker.

Harvey’s impact was considerable but short-lived.  At the point of greatest disruptions, August 29, about 3.9 million b/d of refining was offline.  Additionally, 1.5 million b/d experienced reduced capacity.

Just 17 days later, the impact was minimal with only three refineries with combined capacity of 325,000 b/d remained offline.  Another 1.4 million b/d was starting up and only 2.3 million b/d was operating below maximum output.

In conclusion...The industry was able to reassure the world, that it faced the unprecedented challenge of Harvey, and weathered the storm.

Source: Ed Crooks, “How US oil and gas passed the test of ‘unprecedented’ weather,” Financial Times, 16 Sept 2017.