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Gas, power factbox: Production cuts, power outages continue as Harvey barely moves

Houston (Platts)--28 Aug 2017 421 pm EDT/2021 GMT


Power outages, gas and oil production declines, and infrastructure damage assessments continued Monday as Tropical Storm Harvey picked up only a little speed, moving 3 mph toward the east-southeast from its current location about 40 miles east of Port O'Connor, Texas.

As of 1 pm CDT, Harvey still had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was expected to drop 15-25 inches of additional rainfall through Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Storm rainfall totals are expected to reach 50 inches in some areas, prolonging the devastating flooding that has occurred throughout the region.

More than 300,000 customer power outages have been reported as of Monday morning. Fairly widespread transmission line outages along the coastal areas in the storm's path, from Corpus Christi up toward the Houston area, were reported over the weekend.

Substantial oil, natural gas and power infrastructure onshore along the Gulf Coast of Texas and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut. Offshore Gulf of Mexico natural gas production on Monday morning was down 30% compared with month-to-date levels prior to the storm. Total US natural gas production is down about 2% from levels prior to the storm. Onshore Gulf oil production was down 25% from recent averages on Sunday. The Texas Gulf Coast accounts for nearly 20% of total crude oil output and nearly one-third of domestic refining capacity, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

NYMEX September natural gas futures extended recent losses early Monday morning, as demand erosion resulting from damage inflicted by Harvey combined with additional bearish fundamental factors. After finishing Friday's trading session at $2.892/MMBtu, down 5.7 cents, the contract was down another 1.8 cents Monday at $2.874/MMBtu at 8 am EDT.

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POWER


* Between 9 and 10 am CDT Monday, utilities serving the area affected by Harvey and its aftermath reported more than 300,000 customers without power with the following totals:
  • The AEP Texas outage map showed 146,901 customers without power, mainly in its southern Gulf Coast area.
  • South Texas Electric Cooperative's outage tracker showed 21,146 customers without power in its services areas in the central Texas Gulf Coast area in and around Corpus, Christi, Texas.
  • CenterPoint Energy's outage tracker showed 92,721 customers without power in its service area in and around Houston.
  • Texas-New Mexico Power reported about 16,866 customers without power in its service areas outside Houston.
  • As of about 9:45 am CDT Monday, the Entergy Texas outage tracker showed 27,547 customers without power, as the storm moved through its East Texas footprint.

* Utilities in the area affected by the storm have made the following announcements regarding restoration efforts:
  • AEP Texas estimated that it will have restored power to 95% of its Corpus Christi and Sinton customers by 10 pm CDT Wednesday, and restoration for most of the other areas is expected to reach 95% by 10 pm CDT Saturday. Restoration dates for the Texas Gulf Coast towns of Rockport, Port Aransas, Fulton, Woodsboro, Port Lavaca, Lamar and Bayside are yet to be determined. Damage to these towns is the most severe and will require the most amount of repairs. AEP Texas has brought in about 3,000 workers from Arkansas, Louisiana and other areas in Texas to help with the restoration, in addition to the 300 normally in the area.
  • Restoration efforts by Houston's CenterPoint Energy and East Texas' Entergy Texas have been hampered by impassable roads.
  • Texas-New Mexico Power estimates 100% restoration at 6 pm CDT Thursday after previously estimating repairs would be complete 6 pm CDT Monday. Flooding on the Interstate 45 corridor is impeding repair crews' mobility.

* As of about 8 am CDT Monday, Electric Reliability Council of Texas load data showed the areas affected by the storm had a decrease of more than 30%, compared with the same period August 21, which was a hotter day when much industrial load was still operating. Numerous outages were reported. Load was down more than 36% from year-ago levels in the region, including Houston and Galveston. The ERCOT region includes Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley.


PRODUCTION


* Total US dry gas production Monday morning was down 1.3 Bcf/d from the month-to-date average prior to the storm to 71.8 Bcf/d. Offshore Gulf production was down 1.1 Bcf/d from the recent average to 2.4 Bcf/d, accounting for most of the recent declines, according to data from Platts Analytics.

* The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported about 331,000 b/d of crude production remained offline Monday (19% of total Gulf production) compared with 379,000 b/d offline Sunday. Personnel were evacuated from 98 platforms Monday (13% of the platforms in the Gulf) compared with 105 on Sunday Personnel also were still evacuated from five rigs.

* Multiple offshore Gulf producers reported evacuations and shut-ins over the last few days, including Anadarko Petroleum, Shell, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

* Evacuations and shut-ins also have been reported in the Eagle Ford shale and other Texas Gulf Coast areas by BHP Billiton, ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Murphy Oil and Denbury Resources. Denbury said Monday that it suspended operations and temporarily shut-in all production at its Houston area fields on Sunday, representing net production of 16,000 b/d of oil equivalent. The impacted fields include Hastings, Oyster Bayou, Conroe, Thompson, Webster and Manvel. "While no significant damage outside of localized flooding has been reported at any of these fields, the full impact of the storm may not be determined for several days as we have evacuated our employees and contractors as a precautionary measure," the company said.


PIPELINES


* Williams spokesman Christopher Stockton said Monday that the status of the pipeline operator's onshore facilities is still being assessed, but so far no significant operational issues have been identified. "We are waiting for weather conditions to improve to assess the status of offshore facilities. There is still about 280 MMcf/d of offshore gas supply being shut in by Gulf producers feeding the Transco system," he said.

* Forces majeure remain in place on Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in the Gulf Coast. A force majeure is in place on Tennessee at Station 1 near Agua Dulce, Texas, and Station 9 in South Texas. Tennessee has an operational flow order and other restrictions in place due to the storm. NGPL's force majeure continues on southbound flows through Segment 22 on the Gulf Coast Line, at Compressor Station 300 in Victoria County, Texas, in the South Texas Zone. A force majeure also is in place on NGPL's Louisiana Line upstream of Compressor Station 342 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana (Segment 23 of Natural's Louisiana Zone). NGPL said no eastbound flow is available from Station 302. Due to flooding, Station 343 in NGPL's TexOk zone in Liberty County, Texas, also is unavailable. Kinder Morgan on Friday also implemented a partial shutdown of its Double Eagle, Texas Gas Pipeline, Texas Natural Gas Pipeline, the KMCC crude and condensate pipeline and the Texas Interstates systems.

* Sea Robin pipeline on Friday shut in its Erath Compressor Station and gas processing plant due to a drop in offshore receipts.

Click the image to view a larger size.

Hurricane Harvey five-day tropical storm track prediction


STORAGE


* Tres Palacios, a gas storage facility in Matagorda County, Texas, reported Monday that the 34.8 Bcf capacity facility remains shut and under force majeure.


LNG


* Cheniere Energy said Monday morning that its Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, remained in operation and its Corpus Christi, Texas, facility, which had been undergoing construction, so far had sustained only minor damage. On Monday forecasts called for heavy rains to hit Louisiana in the coming days, which could affect the Sabine Pass facility; however, LNG production operations were continuing Monday. The facility's Train 3 has been undergoing maintenance unrelated to the storm. The full impact on production on Train 3 during the work was not clear. The terminal has four trains producing LNG. Cheniere opened an emergency office in Dallas to support its gas supply and trading operations as well as Sabine Pass operations.

* A spokesman for Freeport LNG Development said Monday that construction at the Texas export facility remains shut and there is no thought of resuming until Harvey passes. The operator has workers in the regas terminal at the site restoring electricity supply. Only minor water damage has been observed at the construction site, spokesman Zdenek Gerych said. Last month, Freeport asked US regulators for permission to begin powering up systems at the export terminal as it looks to start up production late next year, and also continue with plans to add a fourth liquefaction unit. Train 1 is expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2018.


GAS PROCESSING


* The Platts Analytics' gas processing plant natural gas supply sample in East Texas was down about 40% from recent averages to about 490 MMcf/d on Monday, with the sample declines split fairly evenly between the Eagle Ford and Other Texas Gulf Coast areas.

* Enterprise Products Partners shut down and evacuated its 280 MMcf/d Shoup natural gas processing and fractionation plant about 10 miles west of Corpus Christi, spokesman Rick Rainey said Friday.

--Staff report, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@spglobal.com



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