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Pipelines coming back online in Harvey's aftermath

Oil refinery coastal Texas
Oil refinery coastal Texas

Following the devastation of hurricane Harvey, several key pipelines in Texas are starting to come back into service.

Colonial Pipeline, which runs the US’ biggest fuel system, said in a press release that it was working “expeditiously” to complete final repairs on facilities damaged by Harvey, and ensure the integrity of its system between Houston and Herbert.

The company announced that although assessments were ongoing, it estimated its distillates line between Houston and Herbert would restart on Monday 4 September, and its gasoline line on 5 September.

Meanwhile, Explore Pipeline said that its Texas-to-Oklahoma 28-inch fuel pipeline started up as planned, and its 24-inch fuel pipeline, which will run from Oklahoma into the U.S. Midwest, will restart on Monday.


Easing concerns

According to Reuters, the returning supply will ease concerns throughout the US oil industry after the storm took down nearly a quarter of the country’s oil refining capacity, hit oil and gas platforms along the Gulf and has lifted average gasoline prices by more than 20 cents since 23 August.

US gasoline futures RBc1 fell by 3% on 3 September, Reuters reports. Futures prices had traded at a two-year high on fears of supply shortages. Gasoline margins RBc1-CLc1 were down 9%. Nevertheless, on the same day, average retail prices rose again to $2.621 per gallon.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has said that about 5.5% of the Gulf’s oil production and 8.4% of the natural gas output remains shut, as facilities are inspected before work can resume.

Reuters says the total lost production in the Gulf since platforms started shutting is about 2.97 million barrels of oil and 6.35 billion cubic feet of gas.

Oil refinery coastal Texas