(Reuters) – Hurricane Ida shut down US Gulf Coast energy suppliers, shut down most of the region's offshore wells, nearly half of its motor fuel production and shut down energy export ports.
The storm moved into Mississippi on Monday after leaving a trail of destruction in Louisiana and raging through U.S. offshore oil and gas fields. Hundreds of oil production platforms were evacuated and more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi were without power.
Production losses – including at six Gulf Coast refineries – will raise gasoline prices by 5 to 10 cents per gallon, track company GasBuddy said. The crude oil eased on Monday after an earlier meeting to a four-week high.
Colonial Pipeline, the largest U.S. fuel line network, halted supplies of motor fuel from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina. A spokesman on Monday did not say when it expects to resume full operations. Its pipelines supply nearly half of the gasoline used along the east coast of the United States, and an extended shutdown in May led to fuel shortages.
Six refineries that process 1.92 million barrels of oil per day for gasoline and other petroleum products, either closed or restricted certain production, say sources familiar with the business and companies. It includes two Valero Energy plants in Louisiana that combine the processing of 335,000 barrels per day and Phillips 66's 255,000 bpd Alliance, Louisiana, refinery.
Oil companies on Monday begin damage investigations of offshore platforms before taking back crews and restoring any production. Royal Dutch Shell is planning a transfer of its offshore properties.
A transmission tower that supplies power to eight southeastern Louisiana congregations home to refineries collapsed in the Mississippi River as the storm rose. It could take weeks to remove the tower and tie up traffic on the commercial waterway, said a regional rescue chief.
Nearly a dozen commercial shipping ports from New Orleans to Pascagoula, Mississippi, remained closed on Monday. The closures included Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the largest privately owned crude export and import terminal in the United States. Ida landed near Port Fourchon, the land base for LOOP.