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Opinion

Hurricane Ida causes historic US crude supply chain disruption

The storm has had a significant impact on Louisiana refinery operations and Gulf of Mexico production

1 minute read

Written by Dylan White, Rob Bickhart, Suzanne Danforth and Jodi Quinnell

Hurricane Ida made landfall 60 miles south of New Orleans on Sunday, 29 August. It began as a Category 4 hurricane, sustaining winds of 150 miles an hour and causing sea surges, before being downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday morning as it continued north into Louisiana.

The storm had immediate and widespread effects on the US crude supply chain. Refineries, offshore production and even pipelines were shuttered by the storm system. Our real-time monitoring tracked the magnitude of the various impacts, and our historical data helps understand the potential duration of outages.

Louisiana refineries closed ahead of Hurricane Ida

A day before Hurricane Ida made landfall, several refineries closed in anticipation of the storm. The following facilities shut on Saturday, 28 August, according to our North American Refinery Intelligence service:

  • Marathon – Garyville (608,000 barrels per day/bpd)
  • PBF – Chalmette (197,000 bpd)
  • Phillips 66 – Alliance (269,000 bpd)
  • Placid – Port Allen (82,500 bpd)
  • Shell – Norco (250,000 bpd)
  • Valero – Meraux (128,000 bpd)
  • Valero – St. Charles (220,000 bpd)
  • Exxon – Baton Rouge – partial shutdown (539,000 bpd)

Source: Wood Mackenzie's Refinery I/O service

PADD 3 crude runs decreased 1.568mn bpd to a total of 7.198mn bpd on Saturday, 28 August.  Total Gulf Coast crude runs fell a further 94,000 bpd on Sunday, 29 August. Unfinished gasoline, diesel/gasoil, jet/kero refined fuel production decreased 781,000 bpd, 365,000 bpd and 151,000 bpd, respectively, on Saturday with further decreases on Sunday, according to our Refinery I/O service.

Source: Wood Mackenzie's Refinery I/O service

The timelines for refinery restarts are uncertain due to possible flooding, electrical issues and associated maintenance. However, last year's hurricane season provides an approximate measure.