US Refineries Damaged, Shut Down After Hurricane Harvey Affecting Energy Prices

© AP Photo / Pat SullivanWater cooling tower at Motiva's Port Arthur, Texas refinery. (File)
Water cooling tower at Motiva's Port Arthur, Texas refinery. (File) - Sputnik International
The impact of Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding on energy prices in the US has been counted.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US refineries damaged or shut down due to Hurricane Harvey in late August continue to affect energy output and prices, with the time needed resuming production difficult to predict, the Energy Information Administration said.

"Continuing uncertainty exists regarding the timeline for the return to normal operations for a broad range of upstream production, refining, pipeline, and terminal and distribution infrastructure," the release stated.

In addition, the severity and duration of these outages create additional uncertainty about the path of energy prices in the coming weeks and months, the release said.

Water cooling tower at Motiva's Port Arthur, Texas refinery. (File) - Sputnik International
Largest Refinery in US Shuts Down Amid Massive Flooding in Texas
With about half of US oil refineries forced to close with the approach of Hurricane Harvey in the final week of August, production of refined products fell 3.1 million barrels daily from the previous week to 14.8 million barrel.

The release, which does not include the impact of Hurricane Irma, predicted output of 15.3 million barrels in September compared with the August average of 17.1 barrels a day.

Floods generated by Harvey Hurricane forced the shutdown of at least 15 oil refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, including the Saudi-owned Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, the largest in the United States. As a result, roughly 25 percent or one quarter of all oil refining capacity across the United States was shut down, at least temporarily in the wake of the hurricane.

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