Hurricane Harvey's approach prompts more petchem, refinery shutdowns

25 August 2017 19:49 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Several more petrochemical plants and refineries have announced plans to shut down on Friday, hours before Hurricane Harvey is set to make landfall near Corpus Christi.

Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA

Harvey, which is moving northwest at 10 miles/hour (17km/hour), has maximum sustained winds of 110 miles/hour (175km/hour), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. Harvey is just below Category 3 strength, which would make it a major hurricane.

Additional strengthening is possible, the administration said, forecasting the storm to upgrade once more before it reaches the Texas middle coast.

NOAA also said that all last-minute preparations should be rushed to completion, as tropical-storm conditions are now occurring along the Texas coastline, with hurricane conditions expected within hours.

Approximately 89 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated as of Friday morning, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said. That amount equates to approximately 11.6% of the 737 manned platforms in the gulf.

The BSEE estimates that 21.5% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 1,750,000 bbl/day, has been shut in.

In preparation for the storm, the port of Corpus Christi closed on Friday and the Houston Ship Channel was closed to inbound traffic.

Several refineries and chemical plants have shut down in preparation for Harvey:

-Citgo Corpus Christi refinery
-Dow Seadrift operations
-Flint Hills Corpus Christi refinery east and west
-Formosa Point Comfort olefins 1 and olefins 2
-INEOS Green Lake acrylonitrile
-INVISTA Victoria nylon intermediates
-Javelina Corpus Christi gas processing
-OxyChem Ingleside ethylene and chlor-alkali

Meanwhile:
-LyondellBasell is conducting preparations at its Corpus Christi olefins plant.
-DuPont is down at its Victoria site for a previously planned outage. It will commence start-up activities when the weather improves.
-INEOS discovered a heat exchanger tube leak at its Pasadena site. Repairs are unable to commence until weather risks pass.
-Liquefied natural gas (LNG) export construction sites are also on alert.

To view an interactive map of petrochemical plants in Texas, click here. Use the drop-down menu to see plants by products, and zoom in to see more details.

By David Haydon