Storm Harvey hits U.S. LPG production

It’s the biggest storm in 50 years and now Tropical Storm Harvey has affected the LPG and petrochemicals industry in the U.S.

Harvey has brought over 25 inches (64 cm) of rain to parts of Texas since Thursday, and another 10-12 inches is expected over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana, the National Weather Service has revealed.

A number of sites have gone offline because of the unprecedented storm and several companies have declared a ‘force majeure’

Force majeure is a French term literally translated as “greater force”, this clause is usually included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and restrict participants from fulfilling obligations.

The Phillips 66 LPG Freeport export terminal has been closed due to flooding. The facility can load about eight VLGCs with LPG monthly. The Freeport Terminal started operations in December and can export 150,000 b/d of LPG to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

And U.S. oil terminal operator Buckeye Partners LP said its oil processing facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, had been hit by flooding, however it has not suffered major damage due to Tropical Storm Harvey.
Buckeye, which operates Buckeye Texas Processing (BTP), operates a 50,000-barrel-per-day condensate splitter and a system to handle liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at Corpus Christi.

U.S. traders are also looking to import oil product cargoes from North Asia to the United States after the storm forced refineries across the U.S. Gulf Coast to shut down.

Meanwhile, Phillips 66 has announced it will contribute $1m to the American Red Cross to assist relief efforts arising from Hurricane Harvey and the resultant flooding in southeast Texas.
The donation will support relief efforts throughout southeast Texas, including the greater Houston metropolitan area and Brazoria County.

In addition, the company has an employee matching program, which will match employee contributions for disaster relief up to $15,000, and a volunteer grants program which will provide financial donations for volunteer hours provided by Phillips 66 employees.