Cold Refineries 1 20

Arctic Temperatures Put Chill on Refinery Operations

Genscape, a global provider of data and intelligence for the commodity and energy markets, reports that as people throughout the U.S. continue to be affected by extreme cold temperatures, so do major oil refiners. Since Jan. 6, there have been four incidents at refineries directly linked to the cold weather.

In Detroit, as temperatures dipped as low as minus 12°F, several units were shut down at Marathon’s 120,000-bbld refinery. North of the Motor City, Shell shut down a unit at its 75,000-bbld Sarnia refinery for repairs due to the harsh weather and elevated flaring at the facility. Temperatures in the Chicago area were even colder, as highs throughout the region struggled to exceed minus 10°F. The 238,600-bbld Exxon Joliet refinery experienced significant elevated flaring due to problems at process units caused by the cold.

Genscape notes that the cold even had an effect on refineries as far south as Texas, where significant flaring was necessary at Total’s 174,000-bbld Port Arthur refinery due to a loss of high pressure steam caused by the freezing weather conditions.

In addition to those events, there have been several other incidents at eastern refineries since the cold invasion began. Flaring was observed at the 238,000-bbld Phillips 66 Bayway and 182,200-bbld PBF Delaware City refineries, while on the Gulf Coast the 55,000-bbld catalytic reformer at Chevon’s 330,000-bbld Pascagoula refinery was also shut down. In the mid-continent, activity at the 212,000-bbld Marathon Catlettsburg refinery was also decreased for a brief time.