HOUSTON—The Gulf Coast of Texas is slowly but surely getting back to normal after Hurricane Harvey as far as shipping, refining and chemical production are concerned, according to the latest report from information/analytics firm IHS Markit.
The Port of Corpus Christi was open with no restrictions as of the end of Sept. 5, IHS Markit said in its Sept. 6 Hurricane Harvey update.
"Freeport is open too, and is the terminus of the Seaway pipeline that brings crude from Cushing," the report said. "However, it is unclear if draft restrictions have yet been eliminated."
In the Houston area, the shipping situation was less clear, according to IHS Markit. Beaumont and Port Arthur were still closed as of the end of Sept. 4, and the Houston ship channel was open, but with restrictions.
According to the Coast Guard, Galveston and Texas City are open, the report said.
As of Sept. 5, the volume of Gulf of Mexico crude oil production shut-in (reduced because of Hurricane Harvey) was 121,000 barrels per day, or about 7 percent of total Gulf production, IHS Markit said.
"The Labor Day weekend brought nothing but good news for the U.S. refining sector," the report said. "At least two of the 20 affected refineries (Valero's Corpus Christi and Texas City plants) were officially at 'normal' run rates yesterday (Sept. 5), with several others projected to join them in the next 48 hours."
Chemical production remained heavily affected by the storm, according to IHS Markit. Some 54 percent of ethylene production and 41 percent of propylene production remained offline, it said.
"We also expect to see additional delays develop with regard to the new (polyethylene) production capacity scheduled to start up during the third and fourth quarters of this year," the report said.
Polypropylene supply levels range from 70 to 100 percent for the month of September, it said.
Meanwhile, the ExxonMobil Baytown refinery was entering into a restart, while Marathon Galveston Bay is ramping up production rates after narrowly avoiding a shutdown, IHS Markit said.
"That should put the market at ease, as each refinery accounts for nearly 10 percent of U.S. benzene capacity," it said.