By ELIOT CAROOM & DAN MURTAUGH
(Bloomberg) -- Record cold weather pummeled
energy infrastructure across United States, prompting gas
pipeline operators to reduce flows, fuel terminals to shut
loading racks and refineries to scale back production.
Temperatures in several cities like New Yorks Central
Park hit 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 16 Celsius),
according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College,
Flows on all natural gas pipelines into New England from
further west and south were constrained, as were flows into New
York, the Energy Information Administration, the Energy
Departments statistical arm, said in a report.
Kinder Morgan, based in Houston, declared forces majeures in
Alabama after a power failure and Georgia after a compressor
outage, the company told shippers in notices. Other gas
pipeline operators also declared forces majeures due to outages
in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Utah.
Production of natural gas dropped at wells in the United
States Rockies, the Midcontinent, the Gulf Coast and the
Northeast, Luke Larsen, an analyst at LCI Energy Insight, said
Kinder Morgan also reported a force majeure yesterday at the
Argo, Illinois, ethanol terminal, a Midwest hub for
the fuel, as ethanol futures advanced.
At some point you have to have the gasoline blend with
the ethanol, and that line from the ethanol tank to the rack is where
you see a lot of those issues where it gets frozen, said
Eric Rosen, vP of sales, supply and trading for petroleum
marketer Papco, Virginia.
Instruments that control flow have failed and products and
additives have thickened and jelled in the lines at fuel
terminals, said Mark Anderle, a trader at Truman Arnold, a
wholesaler based in Dallas. Anderle said his company has had to
source some fuel from Tennessee and Mississippi.
Midwest fuel terminals are jammed from greater demand for
heating oil and gasoline as drivers keep tanks filled and run
engines longer to warm up or during shopping trips, said Jeff
Lykins, CEO and President of Lykins.
Lykins said that in Ohio, his company was so busy he
received waivers from the state to extend hours-of-service
rules for drivers through January 17.
Theres just so much usage that its just
taking longer to get trucks loaded and turn trucks
around, Lykins said.
Shutdowns were reported at refineries with at least 800,000
bpd of capacity.
PBF Energys 185,000 bpd Paulsboro refinery in New Jersey shut most
production units after a loss of steam, Michael Karlovich, a
spokesman for the company in Parsippany, New Jersey, said by
telephone. The company wasnt sure whether the loss was
related to weather, he said.
Marathon Petroleums 114,000 bpd Detroit refinery restarted several units
after shutting them when low temperatures caused a loss of
instrument air, Jamal Kheiry, company spokesman, said by
Colonial Pipelines system was operating normally
yesterday after experiencing limited power failures because of
the weather, Steve Baker, a spokesman for the company, said by
e-mail. The Colonial system transports 2.4 MMbpd of refined
fuel on its 8,900 km system that connects the Gulf Coast to the