Louisiana ports and refineries next in line as Harvey shapes up for return to land

Louisiana ports and refineries next in line as Harvey shapes up for return to land

After taking a toll on oil refineries and ports along the Texas coast, Tropical Storm Harvey is next forecast to do similar damage on the southwest Louisiana shore as it comes back to land for a second phase, according to Reuters and the Houston Chronicle.

US National Weather Service forecasts have Harvey moving northeast, making landfall east of Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday and then tracking over Louisiana.

The US Gulf Coast hosts almost half of the nation’s refining capacity, with much of that in Texas and Louisiana.

Louisiana accounts for 3.3m barrels per day of refining volume.

Effects of flooding continued to impact Texas refineries on Tuesday with Exxon shutting its Beaumont facility (which produces 362,300 barrels per day) in east Texas. It had previously shut its Baytown installation.

America’s biggest refinery, Saudi Arabian-owned Motiva Enterprises’ Port Arthur facility, announced it will not close down but is scaling back production by at least 40% because of localized flooding and some water in the plant.

Ports around the Texas-Louisiana border have been closed to vessel traffic by the US Coast Guard (USCG). Those closed include Beaumont and Port Arthur in southeast Texas and Lake Charles in Louisiana.

On a brighter note, the port authority of the Texas port of Corpus Christi has set a target of September 4 for returning to normal operations.

It was closed to vessel traffic by the USCG last Friday. And its access channel was blocked by a drillship that was dislodged from a dock by the force of Harvey.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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