NOAA projects Hurricane Rita, currently a Category 5 storm, to make landfall somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston by 7 a.m. Saturday. Winds will be greatly in evidence well before landfall.
According to DOE, there are still 4 Katrina refineries down. They represent a little more than 5 percent of U.S. refining capacity: ConocoPhillips - Belle Chasse; ExxonMobil - Chalmette; Murphy Oil - Meraux; and Chevron – Pascagoula.
The 2 Shell/Motiva refineries, Convent and Norco, recently with reduced runs, are now back to normal production.
The Pascagoula berth was repaired and is receiving product imports for movement to its Collins, MS terminal and on to the Plantation Pipeline.
21 refineries lie within the NOAA Rita potential tracking area representing 27.5 percent of total U.S. refining capacity. These include 3 in Lake Charles, 4 in Beaumont/Port Arthur; 9 in Houston/Texas City, 3 in Corpus Christ and 2 in San Antonio.
According to news reports, Valero said it is reducing production at its Houston and Texas City refineries, and BP is shutting down its Texas City facility.
DOE reports that the tank that failed and leaked at the Murphy Oil Meraux refinery has now been repaired, the water is receding from the refinery and damage assessments are underway.
All of the oil responders in the Louisiana area have been ordered to stand down and pull back in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Rita.
Offshore companies are continuing to evacuate facilities in Gulf of Mexico. MMS reports 469 platforms and 69 rigs have been evacuated. This represents 1,097,357 b/d of crude oil, which is 73.16 percent of daily GOM oil production. It represents 4.713 BCFD of natural gas, which is 47.13 percent of daily GOM natural gas production.