Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Total's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery expects water to recede by weekend

An oil tank damaged by Hurricane Harvey is seen near Seadrift A damaged oil tank near Seadrift. REUTERS Rick Wilking
Debra Rodriguez | 31 August, 2017, 06:45

Beaumont is just northwest of Port Arthur.

Low-lying southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana are far more rural than the 6-million-plus Houston area and are home to numerous nation's oil refineries, including the biggest in the U.S.in Port Arthur. "We help each other out", Dickers said. "We can't take the boats out right now".

Sheriff Zena Stephens says the county resources can't get to Port Arthur because of the flooding. "We need any type of boat we can get and get people out of their house".

"But we're going to rebuild, Port Arthur", Freeman said.

"This second wave of Harvey is probably doing more damage than most people thought it would", Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc.in NY, said by telephone.

First responders in Texas have carried out several thousand water rescues in flood-affected areas.

Harvey initially came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane in Texas on Friday, then went back out to sea and lingered off the coast as a tropical storm for days, inundating flood-prone Houston.

Authorities are investigating at least 17 more deaths to determine whether they were storm-related.

An undetermined number of people are missing.

The US Coast Guard is searching for two civilian rescuers who were swept away after their boat capsized Tuesday night, the Harris County Sheriff's Office tweeted Wednesday. One of the volunteers was found clinging to a tree. The Army Corps and the Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7 jointly manage the levee that was breached.

Harvey is expected to weaken and continue moving to the north and east across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley through Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center described the flooding in southeastern Texas as "catastrophic" and "life-threatening".

The situation became serious in eastern Texas today.

Morningstar analysts said in a research note Tuesday that Motiva, located 90 miles east of Houston, may end up having to shut altogether, and said other refineries in the Port Arthur, Beaumont area may also have to close. Freeman wrote in one post. He also urged residents to get to higher ground, but avoid becoming trapped in attics.

One of those refineries forced to shut down Wednesday due to the storm was Motiva's in Port Arthur, which is the country's largest.

Exxon Mobil's Beaumont refinery and Marathon Petroleum's Galveston Bay refinery were both operating at reduced capacity on Monday, but Reuters reported Tuesday that both plan to shut down temporarily.

Neither the Bob Bowers Civic Center nor the Carl Parker Center could be reached by phone in time for this report's publication.

The Port Arthur city Twitter account encouraged residents to "display a white towel, sheet, shirt or anything" so rescuers could find them in the torrential rain that was still pouring down Wednesday morning.

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