U.S. Oil Firms Hit Brakes on Return-to-work as Virus Cases Soar
U.S. energy companies slammed the brakes on returning staff to their Houston offices as COVID-19 cases soared and top hospitals warned they could soon run out of beds for the most severely ill patients.A record number of new illnesses in Texas this week spurred local officials to impose restrictions as new cases topped 5,000 on two days in a row. Intensive care unit (ICU) beds were 97% full at Houston's Texas Medical Center, which said it may soon move to surge ICU capacity assignments…
Oil Giants Set Health Checks, Work-from-home Rules
Major energy companies in the United States imposed work-from-home rules for office staff and began health checks for remote or critical workers as coronavirus spread and threatened an industry reeling from falling demand and profits.BP, Exxon Mobil, Kinder Morgan, Motiva Enterprises and Royal Dutch Shell told most office staff to work from home starting Monday. Federal regulators on Friday were pressed by companies to ease work rules for pipeline operators and to limit visits to some sites.
Texas Petrochemical Fire Continues to Burn
Three workers were injured in a massive explosion on Wednesday that sparked a blaze at a Texas petrochemical plant, the latest in a series of chemical plant accidents in the region.An initial blast at a TPC Group complex in Port Neches, Texas, was followed by secondary explosions that shattered windows, blew locked doors off their hinges and prompted officials to evacuate homes within a half-mile radius of the facility, which about 90 miles east of Houston.Peyton Keith…
Three Injured in TPC Port Neches Explosion
Three workers were injured in an early Wednesday explosion that sparked a blaze at a petrochemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, the latest in a series of chemical plant accidents in the region.An initial explosion at the TPC Group plant was followed by secondary blasts, shattering windows and blowing locked doors off their hinges in homes near the facility, which is about 90 miles east of Houston.Residents within a half-mile radius were evacuated.The fiery blast follows others at petrochemical plants in east Texas.
CSB: Chemical Leak Caused Fire at ITC Houston Terminal
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday that a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.The fire that began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) spread black smoke across Houston, shut the nearby ship channel, slowed production at local oil refineries and closed roadways…
Fire at Mitsui’s ITC Houston-area Terminal Began with Naphtha Leak -U.S.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday that leaking volatile naphtha, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive fire at Mitsui & Co Ltd's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.The fire that began on March 17 spread a black cloud of smoke across Houston, shut the ship channel, led to cuts in production at nearby refineries, closed roadways…
ExxonMobil Seeks to Sell Montana Refinery
Exxon Mobil Corp is seeking a potential buyer for its roughly 60,000 barrel per day Billings, Montana refinery, according to three sources familiar with Exxon’s plans.Representatives for large refiners, including Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, have toured the refinery, two of the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process is private.Ultimately a smaller refiner could be a more likely buyer of the plant, one of the sources said.Exxon and Valero could not immediately be reached for comment.
Flooding Disrupts U.S. Gulf Coast Energy Operations
Energy infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast was hit hard by Tropical Storm Imelda on Thursday, as flooding forced a major refinery, a key oil pipeline, terminals and a ship channel in Texas to shut, according to sources familiar with operations.Torrential rain has inundated the Gulf Coast from Houston to western Louisiana for a second straight day. The National Hurricane Center forecast the storm could drop up to 40 inches (102…
Exxon Faces Local Lawsuit over Refinery Fire
Exxon Mobil Corp was hit with a lawsuit on Thursday over pollution from a fire at the company's Baytown Olefins Plant, according to an attorney for Harris County, Texas, which filed the suit.The fire was being investigated by federal and state agencies. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were at the scene to determine the cause of a blaze that raged for hours on Wednesday and raised a column of black smoke over the area.The suit by Harris County…
Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt
Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns…
Storm Cut 73% of US Offshore Production
Tropical Storm Barry has cut 73%, or 1.38 million barrels per day (bpd), of crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Sunday.Natural gas output from the northern Gulf of Mexico is down 62%, or 1.7 billion cubic feet per day, BSEE said.A total of 283 production platforms, or 42%, remain shut in the Gulf of Mexico, BSEE said.(Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Nick Zieminski)
Fuel Futures: Diesel Will Spike on IMO2020
New marine fuel rules to boost diesel prices for at least a year -analystsGlobal prices for diesel and marine fuels should rise by October ahead of a January switchover to new, very low-sulfur marine fuels, and remain higher for at least a year as refiners shift production to make more of the new fuels, analysts said.Marine fuels containing no more than 0.5% sulfur by weight, down from the 3.5% currently used, to power ocean-going vessels will be required for ships without exhaust scrubbers on Jan.
'We Are the Rightful Owners' of Anadarko -Oxy CEO
Occidental Petroleum Chief Executive Vicki Hollub on Friday touted her $38 billion deal for Anadarko Petroleum Corp and defended the pricey terms she negotiated in a 90-minute session with billionaire investor Warren Buffett to secure the deal without seeking shareholder approval.Hollub, 59, beat out larger rival Chevron Corp with a long-shot bid that some Occidental investors called risky because it saddles Occidental with $46 billion in new debt.
TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel…
Exxon Green Lights Mega Refinery Expansion
Exxon Mobil Corp has given final approval to an expansion that would nearly double the size of its 365,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery, making it the largest in the United States, said two people familiar with the company's plans.The largest U.S. oil producer, which has been considering a third processing unit at the plant since at least 2014, has authorized financing for equipment needed to convert shale crude from its West Texas oilfields into precursors for gasoline…
US Gulf Oil Output Takes a Hit from Storm
Tropical Storm Gordon forced a cut of 9.36 percent of crude oil production in U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, slightly more than Tuesday, the U.S.
Settlement Reached in Petrobras' Texas Refinery Emissions Case
A U.S. unit of Brazilian state-run company Petrobras agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit over alleged toxic emissions from its Pasadena, Texas, oil refinery, two environmental groups said.The settlement comes in the midst of the company's efforts to sell the refinery. The deal is subject to approval by a federal judge.Petrobras did not respond to a request for comment.Under the terms of the agreement, Petrobras subsidiary…
Subtropical Storm Alberto's Landfall Expected Early Next Week
U.S. Gulf of Mexico producers and refiners are monitoring Subtropical storm Alberto, which is expected to make landfall between east Louisiana and the Florida panhandle early next week, the companies said on Friday. The National Weather Service on Friday predicted the storm would bring heavy rain to the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP)…
Oklahoma Orders Cut to Disposal Well Volumes Following Quakes
Oklahoma regulators forced an oil and gas producer to reduce operations on a well used for disposing saltwater following a large earthquake over the weekend that set off a series of seismic activity in the state, Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), said on Monday. The temblors occurred near Perry, Oklahoma, in the northwestern part of the state, within an area signaled out by regulators for the frequency of earthquakes from oil and gas production activities.
Petrobras Texas Refinery Shut by Malfunction
The sole crude distillation unit at the 112,229 barrel per day (bpd) Petrobras' Pasadena, Texas, refinery was shut by a malfunction on Wednesday night, sources familiar with plant operations said on Thursday. Petrobras was working to determine what caused the crude unit and an associated vacuum distillation unit to shut down, the sources said. by Erwin Seba in Houston