Refiners and fuel shippers in the U.S. are returning to normal strength after weathering a weekend full of storm surges and heavy rains.

Expectations that Hurricane Irene would prove a major disruption to fuel refining and distribution mostly fizzled as it lost strength soon after hitting the North Carolina coast Saturday morning. The National Weather Service downgraded Irene to a tropical storm at 9 a.m. EDT Sunday as the storm made its way north along the Atlantic coast.

ConocoPhillips (COP) brought its 185,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Trainer, Pa., back to planned production rates Monday after reducing operations as a precaution against this weekend’s storm, sources said.