U.S. Refineries in Path of Hurricane

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Published Oct 2, 2015 11:48 AM by The Maritime Executive

Hurricane Joaquin is barreling down on the U.S. East Coast with wind speeds over 131 miles per hour. The Category 4 hurricane could have a significant impact on the U.S. energy industry. Governors in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina have declared states of emergency as the storm moves towards landfall.

The U.S. Atlantic coast has six key refineries that account for 1.29 million barrels per day of refining capacity per day, which is seven percent of the nation's output. Hurricane Sandy, which rammed into the Eastern Seaboard in October 2012, left production and distribution paralyzed.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the areas impacted by Sandy used about 2.2 million barrels per day of gasoline and distillates. Forty-two percent of supply comes from regional refineries, 31 percent arrives pipeline and 27 percent are imports arriving at New York-New Jersey Port Authority. All of these sources were significantly disrupted.

At Sandy’s height, 94 percent of regional capacity was shut down and two NY refineries with 308,000 barrels per day were out of operation through November 2013.