Hurricane Irma was moving through the Caribbean Thursday, closing petroleum storage facilities as it heads towards southern Florida.

A number of storage tanks and other equipment at NuStar Energy’s crude and refined products storage terminal on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius were damaged by Irma. The company had shut down the 14 million-barrel terminal Monday in preparation.

Buckeye Partners shut down its Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, facility Tuesday ahead of Irma. That terminal has around 4.6 million barrels of storage capacity for crude, fuel oil and refined products, according to Buckeye’s website.

Buckeye also said it was “implementing hurricane preparedness plans” at its Grand Bahamas, Bahamas and Florida terminal facilities. Buckeye’s 26.2 million barrel terminal in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, stores crude, fuel oil, and refined products.

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A report from Galbraith’s shipbrokers said the Freeport facility was closed. Statoil said its South Riding Point terminal, also on Grand Bahama Island, was open Thursday, and that the company is monitoring the storm and will “take necessary precautions.”

Irma is expected to make landfall in southern Florida Sunday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florida depends on barge shipments rather than pipelines for 97% of its refined products. Refined products are shipped regularly into Port Everglades, on the eastern Florida coast. Petroleum throughput at Port Everglades was 121.07 million barrels in 2016, according to the port’s website.

The US Coast Guard is closing south Florida ports, including Port Everglades, starting at 8:00 pm EDT Friday.

Hurricane Katia is expected to begin moving toward Mexico’s Gulf Coast Thursday night or early Friday, the NHC said. Katia could disrupt port loadings at Tuxpan, which is at the heart of Pemex’s logistic supply system as it is the direct point of entry to Mexico City and the country’s central region.

This region consumed 34% of all the gasoline and 25% of the diesel in the country in the first half of 2017, Energy Secretariat data showed.

While Mexico receives some refined product imports by rail, about 69% of the country’s gasoline imports entered via ports in the Gulf of Mexico in June, Sener data showed. Tuxpan received 42%, Coatzacoalcos 23% and Tampico 4%.

Heavy rains are expected around the area of Pemex’s 190,000 b/d Madero refinery at the furthest southern portion of the state of Tamaulipas. Light rain is expected in southern Veracruz, where Pemex’s 285,000 b/d Minatitlan refinery is located.

Also in the path of Katia are Pemex pipelines that move fuel from Tuxpan into Mexico City, the country’s central and northern region, as well as railroads used by Mexico’s Ferromex to transport fuel. Ferromex could not be reached for comment.

Most of the Texas refineries brought down ahead of Hurricane Harvey were on their way back Thursday.

PORTS AND TERMINALS

* The US Coast Guard placed restrictions on key Southeastern Florida ports. All Florida ports remain open to both commercial and recreational traffic. But by setting Port Condition X-Ray earlier Thursday, the USCG is warning vessels to prepare for gale force winds within 48 hours at some of Florida’s major petroleum terminal ports: Key West, Miami, Port Everglades, Palm Beach, Tampa, Port Manatee, Port Canaveral, and Jacksonville. South Florida ports are expected to shut to both inbound and outbound traffic Friday at 8:00 pm EDT when the Coast Guard issues Port Condition Zulu.

* A number of storage tanks and other equipment at NuStar Energy’s crude and refined products storage terminal on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius were damaged by Hurricane Irma. There were no spills associated with the damaged equipment or tanks, and the company had already shut down the 14 million-barrel terminal Monday. St. Eustatius is home to 56 storage tanks for crude, distillates, gasoline, jet fuel, blending components, residual fuels and condensate. The terminal also has six mooring locations that are capable of handling vessels of up to 520,000 DWT, which means the terminal can serve VLCC and ULCCs typically with a capacity of over 2 million barrels.

* Buckeye Partners is implementing hurricane preparedness plans for its major crude oil and product storage terminal on the island of Grand Bahamas. Buckeye did not say if the 26.2 million-barrel storage terminal — billed as one of the largest in the Bahamas — has been shut. The company’s “Bahamas Hub” has 80 storage tanks and eight berths that load VLCC’s of capacity over 2 million barrels. The facility also provides storage for crude oil, fuel oil and VGO, diesel fuel, and gasoline and components, information on Buckeye Global Marine Partners website said. In neighboring Puerto Rico, where the company operates the Yabucoa terminal, a full plant shut down was initiated Tuesday and all marine terminal operations have been suspended. Located near the southeastern corner of the island of Puerto Rico, Yabucoa offers over 4 million barrels of storage for crude oil, fuel oil, and refined products.

* Statoil said its South Riding Point terminal, on Grand Bahama Island, was open Thursday. The company is monitoring the storm and will “take necessary precautions.”

* Florida depends on barge shipments rather than pipelines for 97% of its refined products. Also, about 10% of all US Atlantic Coast gasoline blending is done in Florida, which will be impeded to some degree by port closures. This will likely to disrupt further domestic gasoline supply already in disarray after Hurricane Harvey raked Texas Gulf Coast refineries two weeks ago. Ten petroleum terminals are located in and around Fort Lauderdale, owned by refiners like ExxonMobil and Chevron, and midstream companies like Kinder Morgan and TransMontaigne as well as privately held companies like George E. Warren. Tankers “deliver about 12.5 million gallons of petroleum products to Port Everglades” every day, according to the port website. More than 50% of those products is gasoline.

* Mexico’s Naval Secretariat, or SEMAR, Thursday established an “alert zone” that includes the key ports of Tuxpan and Veracruz on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. The Port of Tuxpan receives 42% of Mexico’s total imports of gasoline and 28% of Mexico’s diesel imports, according to the country’s Energy Secretariat, or SENER. The port of Veracruz receives 6% of Mexico’s total diesel imports.

OFFSHORE AND ONSHORE OIL PRODUCTION

* As Hurricane Irma approaches the coast of Florida and the US Gulf of Mexico, BP is evacuating nonessential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform and West Vela drilling rig. There has been no impact on production, however. The Thunder Horse platform, located 150 miles south of New Orleans, can process up to 250,000 b/d of oil. Operator BP has a 75% stake, with ExxonMobil having a 25% interest in the platform.

* Big Eagle Ford Shale producers Chesapeake Energy and ConocoPhillips each say they still have a fifth of their Eagle Ford Shale production in South Texas offline in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Chesapeake, which produced about 100,000 b/d of oil equivalent in the play during the second quarter, 88% of it oil, has been affected by Harvey “to a pretty significant extent,” Doug Lawler said. ConocoPhillips said its Eagle Ford production was running at close to 80% of its pre-storm production rate of 130,000 boe/d. “We expect to return to pre-storm levels in the next week or two, subject to third-party offtake access,” the company said.

REFINERIES

* Roughly 1.03 million b/d of refining capacity remains down, while another 2.7 million b/d of capacity is in the process of returning. Assuming the returning refineries are operating at 50% of capacity, the total downed capacity comes to roughly 2.38 million b/d, or 12.8% of US capacity.

Full shutdown: (Company: Location — Capacity (b/d))

  • ExxonMobil: Beaumont, TX — 362,300
  • Buckeye: Corpus Christi, TX — 50,000
  • Magellan: Corpus Christi, TX — 50,000
  • Shell: Deer Park, TX — 340,000
  • Total: Port Arthur, TX — 225,500

Total capacity closed: 1,027,800

Share of US capacity: 6%

Partial shutdown/returning:

(Company: Location — Capacity (b/d); 50% of Capacity (b/d))

  • ExxonMobil***: Baytown, TX — 560,500; 280,250
  • Flint Hills***: Corpus Christi, TX-West — 230,000; 115,000
  • Flint Hills***: Corpus Christi, TX-East — 70,000; 35,000
  • Motiva***: Port Arthur, TX — 603,000; 301,500
  • Valero***: Three Rivers, TX — 89,000; 44,500
  • Lyondell***: Houston, TX — 263,776; 131,888
  • Marathon***: Galveston Bay, TX — 459,000; 229,500
  • Marathon: Texas City, TX — 86,000; 43,000
  • Valero***: Houston, TX — 191,000; 95,500
  • Valero***: Port Arthur, TX — 335,000; 167,500
  • Petrobras***: Pasadena, TX — 112,229; 56,115
  • Phillips 66***: Sweeny, TX — 247,000; 123,500

Total capacity reduced: 1,350,753

Closed + reduced capacity: 2,378,553

Share of US capacity: 12.8%

***Returning

–Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com

–Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com

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