Hurricane Laura prompted vital harm at a web site holding about 30% of the nation’s retailer of emergency crude oil, however three different websites nonetheless have loads of petroleum, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette stated on Sept. 9.
The broken Strategic Petroleum Reserve web site in West Hackberry, Louisiana, holds practically 8.2 billion gallons (31 billion liters) of crude oil in 21 large caverns deep underground. Brouillette didn’t specify the precise nature of the harm or say how a lot it could price to repair it, however stated he deliberate to tour it.
More than any worries about harm to the federal repository, “My concern is with the people who work at that site” as a result of so many properties had been broken and destroyed, Brouillette stated throughout a livestreamed information convention with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“Restoring power is our top concern right now,” Edwards stated. He famous that 90% of Calcasieu Parish, essentially the most populous parish within the southwest Louisiana space the place the storm slammed ashore, stays with out energy.
Brouillette additionally stated that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has lowered demand for oil and fuel a lot, there isn’t a scarcity of gasoline, jet gas and different refined merchandise, though two massive refineries within the Lake Charles space haven’t been in a position to reopen for the reason that hurricane.
Citgo and Phillips 66 have massive refineries within the space; a 3rd, run by Calcasieu Refining, is way smaller.
Edwards and Brouillette spoke after a closed roundtable dialogue with the homeowners of the big Lake Charles refineries and officers from the Port of Lake Charles, utility corporations and three state businesses.
Edwards stated that a kind of refineries shut down for the second time in 76 years. “But because they shut down the way they did, they did not suffer catastrophic damage,” he stated.
Brouillette stated some refineries count on to renew operation as quickly as energy has returned.
“We are still weeks away from total restoration,” Edwards stated.
He stated the large downside is that Laura broken or destroyed 1,000 or extra energy transmission towers. “These are very, very difficult things to replace,” he stated.
He stated Brouillette signed an emergency order letting Louisiana use some energy generated in Texas, “kind of like an extension cord.”
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created after the 1973 power disaster. Two websites in Louisiana and two in Texas at present maintain about 27.2 billion gallons (103 billion liters) of crude. The oil is held in caverns hollowed out of salt domes — mountainous salt deposits which can be nearly solely underground.
The 4 websites embrace a complete of 70 such caverns. Together, they’ll maintain practically 30 billion gallons (113.6 billion liters) of oil.
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