GONZALEZ, ALISON SIDER and BEN LEFEBVRE
Nearly half of the East Coast oil refining capacity has returned to
normal operations in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the US
Department of Energy said Wednesday.
A report by the department indicated that two of the
region's six refineries - Philadelphia Energy Solutions'
335,000-bpd refinery and Delta Airlines'
185,000-bpd facility in Trainer, Pa. - were producing at normal
rates, totaling 520,000 bpd.
That's about 44% of the East Coast's refining capacity.
Two refineries in Delaware City, Del., and Paulsboro, N.J.,
owned by PBF Energy Inc. were running at reduced rates. These
facilities have a combined capacity
of 342,200 bpd.
PBF had said Tuesday that the refineries had run well through
the storm, and that it was unlikely to provide any additional
updates, as it considered details about operations and maintenance to be "business
Another two refineries remained shut down - Hess Corp.'s
70,000 bpd Port Reading, N.J., refinery, and Phillips 66's Linden,
N.J., facility, which can process 238,000 bpd of crude.
Phillips 66 said Wednesday that power had been restored at
the Linden facility and that floodwaters had receded there. But
the refinery remained offline, along with three storage
terminals in the New York and New Jersey area, the company
Phillips 66 is moving workers from other regions to help with
the refinery's recovery, but a decision
on the restart will only occur after all assessments are
completed, the company said.
Phil Flynn, an analyst with the Price Futures Group, said
that the status of the East Coast refineries shouldn't really
push up gasoline prices. In fact, the hurricane "may prove to
be the biggest demand destruction event" in US history, due to
the large quantity of cancelled flights and power outages, he
said in a note.
Gasoline futures in New York traded up 1.78% at $2.66/gal.
Retail regular gasoline in New York sold for $3.979/gal, same
as Tuesday and slightly lower than $4.050 a week ago.
The US Energy Dept. also said that NuStar Energy's terminals
in Linden "are without power and have significant high-water
Power remains out at the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers
fuel from the Gulf Coast refining belt to the New York Harbor
The pipeline's operators said late Tuesday it was sending
commercial generators to its Linden facility to provide partial
power while the facility awaits the resumption of commercial
service from its local supplier. The facility lost power due to
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