Sixth District Energy Updates

September 25, 2008

photo of an oil platform
Refineries and Product Supply
Five refineries in Texas and Louisiana, representing 7 percent of total U.S. refining capacity, remained shut down on Wednesday.
Since refineries first shut down before Hurricane Gustav, nearly 44 million barrels of products have not been produced. This has helped bring U.S. gasoline inventories to the lowest level since 1967.
Refined product supplies remain constrained in portions of the country, notably in the Atlanta and Nashville areas, because of refining capacity that is still significantly reduced from prehurricane levels. Strict anti–price gouging laws have kept prices from rising excessively. However, some analysts note that markets could tighten further because it can take several weeks for reduced oil production and refining to make its way through the supply chain.
The Energy Information Administration estimates that it could take several days or even a couple of weeks before the distribution system, from refineries to retail stations, returns to prehurricane levels.
On Sept. 23, the EPA issued a waiver of gasoline sulfur requirements for 45 counties in the Atlanta area in an effort to ease gasoline shortages in the region. The waiver will continue through Oct. 12.

photo of power lines
Utilities in Louisiana were not reporting any power outages as of Sept. 23.
On Sept. 24, 514,000 customers in Texas, representing 5 percent of the state, were still without electricity.

photo of a man pumping gas
Oil and Gas Production
About 63 percent of the oil production and 57 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remained shut-in on Wednesday, down from 100 percent and 95 percent, respectively, after Hurricane Ike made landfall.
On Sept. 24, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources reported that 34 percent of normal Louisiana (excluding Outer Continental Shelf) oil production has been restored.
Seven of the 39 natural gas processing plants in Ike's path remain shut down.

photo of a shipping port
The Colonial and Plantation product pipelines, main sources for refined products going from the Gulf to the East Coast, continue to operate at reduced rates.
Nine of the 26 major natural gas pipelines in the Gulf Coast area continue to report complete shut-in of their systems. Damage assessments are still under way for onshore and offshore natural gas pipeline facilities.