-U.S. Gulf Coast oil and gas companies emerged Thursday from shelter in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, assessing the damage and beginning to restaff evacuated refineries and offshore platforms as the now-weakened storm winds its way through central Louisiana.
Analysts with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said energy markets aren’t expecting “lasting disruptions,” but they are ” looking for confirmation of this” from oil and gas companies.
So far, the markets are being mostly reassured: Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) said Thursday two of its Louisiana refineries that were shut down in anticipation of the storm have sustained no major damage and are starting to be restaffed. The refineries, in Meraux and Norco, had been shut down early in the week; initial inspections have turned up minor wind damage to the facilities but no major damage to the refineries’ production units, Valero spokesman Bill Day said.
“We should have a better idea in the next few days when restart can begin,” Mr. Day said.
Valero’s Memphis, Tenn., refinery continues to run at reduced rates because of the closing of the 1.2-million-barrel- a-day Capline pipeline that provides oil to the refinery, Mr. Day said.
Oil producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) said its remote monitoring systems indicate the company’s deep-water oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico are intact, and workers will begin returning to the central Gulf Friday to do more thorough investigations of the facilities. Staff will return to facilities in the eastern Gulf starting Saturday morning; operations will restart whenever pipelines and other infrastructure allow, Anadarko said.