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Phillips 66 reports flooding from Isaac in Belle Chasse, La., refinery

[Story updated 2 p.m. Aug. 31 with latest BSEE production figures, see last two paragraphs]

There were few damage reports from oil and gas industry’s initial assessment of platforms, rigs, pipelines, and refineries following Hurricane Isaac, and the storm, downgraded to a tropical depression on Aug. 30, moved out of Louisiana and into Arkansas.

Hurricane Isaac crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Florida, making landfall on Aug. 28 in Plaquemines Parish, La., as a Category 1 hurricane.

As of early Aug. 31, industry reported little damage to most equipment and plants, but Phillips 66 reported flooding in its 247,000 b/d Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La., which remained without power. Belle Chasse received the brunt of the storm.

“Some flooding is evident in the refinery. Refinery personnel are working to prevent more flooding and to pump water out of the flooded areas,” Phillips 66 said in a statement on its web site, adding that no decision had been made yet on when the refinery might be restarted.

Meanwhile, Phillips 66 said its 239,000 b/d Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, La., remained in operation.

As of 8 a.m. EDT Aug. 31, four refineries in the path of Isaac remained shut representing 878,000 b/d, or 11%, of Gulf Coast refining capacity. Seven additional refineries operated at reduced runs or were being restarted, said the US Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

In addition to the Phillips 66 refinery in Belle Chasse, the other three closed refineries were Chalmette Refining in Chalmette, La., Motiva’s refinery in Norco, La., and Valero Energy Corp.’s refinery in Norco, La., DOE said.

Valero said workers were starting to return to its Norco refinery, but executives had yet to decide when the restart could begin.

The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported 1.3 million b/d, or 94.81%, of gulf oil production shut in as of 11:30 a.m. CDT on Aug. 31. Of gas production, 3 bcf, or 68.34%, was shut in.

BSEE reported 499 platforms evacuated, 83.7%, and 48 rigs evacuated, 63.2%.

 


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