Monday, August 28, 2017

Hydrocarbons: Early Effects of Hurricane Harvey On Refining and Petrochemicals

Two from Platts:

Aug 28, 1221 am EDT/421 GMT
NYMEX oil product crack spreads soar to two-year highs on US hurricane
Front-month NYMEX RBOB and heating oil crack spreads against NYMEX light sweet crude skyrocketed to two-year highs during mid-morning trade in Asia Monday, extending Friday's rise, amid concerns over Hurricane Harvey's impact on US Gulf Coast refining activity.

Related video:Asian gasoline market assessing Hurricane Harvey's impact on supply

NYMEX RBOB crack spread against NYMEX light sweet stood at $26.39/b as of 0334 GMT, while the NYMEX heating oil crack spread was at $21.87/b.

Both were at highs not seen since August 2015.
Crude oil futures though, were mixed.

At 0334 GMT, ICE October Brent crude futures rose 21 cents/b (0.4%) from Friday's settle to $52.62/b, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude contract was down 16 cents/b (0.33%) at $47.71/b.

After battering the coast and shutting some US refineries when it made landfall at Corpus Christi, Texas, late last week, Hurricane Harvey has now weakened to a tropical storm, the US National Hurricane Centre said Sunday.

Roughly 2.2 million b/d of capacity were currently down or being brought down. Corpus Christi area refineries were already shut ahead of the storm, and Houston area refineries Sunday were being taken down because of flooding.

"In terms of the global petroleum market, we see the impact as more of a passing ripple rather than a reason to revise the intermediate-term outlook for supply, demand, or prices," said Citi Futures energy futures specialist Tim Evans....MORE

August 26, 1248 pm EDT/1648 GMT
Factbox: Harvey spurs gas, petchem shut-ins, power outages 

* Formosa Plastics shut in its Point Comfort, Texas, petrochemical complex and implemented its "tropical weather procedures," a spokesman said. The facility has two steam crackers with a combined ethylene production capacity of nearly 1.5 million mt/year. The Point Comfort facility is about 90 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Platts estimates its ethane feedstock consumption at about 100,000 b/d.

* OxyChem suspended operations at its Ingleside, Texas, facility. The company operates a 550,000 mt/year steam cracker at Ingleside, which is about 20 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. The company's partner in the facility is Mexichem. Platts estimates ethane feedstock consumption at the facility at 30,000-40,000 b/d.

* Chevron Phillips Chemical was monitoring Hurricane Harvey's approach to the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday, but a spokeswoman declined to say whether commissioning work at its two new polyethylene plants in Sweeny was affected. The 500,000 mt/year high density and 500,000 mt/year linear low density plants were mechanically complete in June and are undergoing commissioning with startup expected in October. Sweeny is 25 miles inland from the Port of Freeport, which was shut to all traffic Friday ahead of the storm. Phillips 66 shut operations at its liquefied petroleum gas export terminal in Freeport as well.

* Dow Chemical was shutting down its operations in Seadrift, Texas, which was in the path of Hurricane Harvey's expected landfall, the company said. "The Seadrift manufacturing site has begun implementing plans to safely shut down its operations," spokesman Jarrod Erpelding said in an email. He said Dow's other Texas and Louisiana sites remained operational. The Seadrift facility produces polyethylene, glycols and oxide derivatives. It has eight production units. Seadrift is between Corpus Christi and Port O'Connor in the middle of the Texas Gulf Coast, west of the area between Port O'Connor and Matagorda where forecasters expect Harvey to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

* There were outages Friday at LyondellBasell's Corpus Christi cracker (over 1.1 million mt/year of ethylene production capacity), Formosa's Point Comfort cracker complex (just below 1.5 million mt/year of capacity), and Occidental's Ingleside cracker (production capacity of 550,000 mt/year). The combined ethane demand for the plants is 80,000-90,000 b/d, based on the most recent data from Jacobs Consultancy's Hodson Report. "LyondellBasell is implementing our very detailed hurricane preparedness plans," company spokeswoman Chevalier Gray said. "While these plans vary from site to site, they are designed to mitigate the impacts of storms like Hurricane Harvey, including flooding. Out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a controlled shutdown at our Corpus Christi site." The Corpus Christi complex produces ethylene, propylene and other petrochemical products....

Goldman Sachs On Hurricane Harvey and the Oil & Gas Business