‘Dodged-bullet’ view of Rita challenged

Hurricane Rita missed the Houston area’s giant refining complex but hammered refineries in Beaumont and Port Arthur, Tex., and in Lake Charles, La., when it came ashore near the state line Sept. 24. Still, initial damage reports had some suggesting that the impact to the US downstream petroleum system could have been much worse.Analyst Paul Horsnell of Barclays Capital Inc., London, derided those assessments as the “dodged-bullet” syndrome-“the view that if something is not as bad as it might have been, then it is in effect a net positive,” he said. “Rita was a negative supply-side event under any definition. The potential cumulative loss of oil product...

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