Ida Aftermath: Damage Assessments Continue

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A massive portion of the refining capacity and nearly all of the upstream operations in the US Gulf of Mexico remained shut down on Tuesday in the wake of Hurricane Ida, although a major products pipeline system was able to resume operations. Refineries Energy Intelligence has confirmed some 1.3 million barrels per day in throughput capacity remained off line as of midday Tuesday, while unconfirmed outages suggested a total of 1.8 million-2.2 million b/d was still down. Downstream players must clear a slew of hurdles before they can restart their facilities. In addition to the potential damage and flooding sustained as Ida tore through the area on Sunday, the area around New Orleans remains mostly powerless, according to regional utility Entergy. Flooded roads, unsafe travel conditions and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could also interfere with assessing damages and getting employees back to work. Phillips 66's 255,000 b/d Alliance refinery remained shut down on Tuesday. "There is some water in the refinery," a spokesperson said. "Our team will conduct a full, post-storm assessment of the refinery when it is deemed safe to do so." Marathon Petroleum's 578,000 b/d Garyville refinery was also still shut down, and the company was "assessing a timeline for safely resuming operations," a spokesperson said. Valero's 135,000 b/d Meraux and 340,000 b/d St. Charles facilities remained shuttered, but a spokesperson said the company was "conducting a thorough assessment of refinery equipment and potential impacts from Ida [and] working with third-party suppliers and utility providers on restoration of services and infrastructure." Exxon Mobil's 503,000 b/d Baton Rouge plant was reported to still be down as well but was preparing to start back up. "The Baton Rouge refinery, chemical plant and other Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge facilities are safely progressing restart procedures. Our facilities did not sustain any significant damage during the hurricane," a spokesperson told Energy Intelligence.

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