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Energy Chamber offers support to hurricane-battered Texas

Published: 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Evacuees wade down Tidwell Road as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise in Houston, yesterday. Photo by:AP

President of the Energy Chamber Dax Driver has offered his Chamber’s support and encouragement to the many Texans affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

At least 10 people have been recorded dead and countless homes and dwellings destroyed in the wake of Harvey’s landfall in Texas.

The affected areas include some of Texas’ most populous cities, stretching along the state’s Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Houston, and inland to Austin and San Antonio.

“We at the Chamber are moved by the impact of hurricane Harvey on the lives of the residents of Texas, many of whom are our friends and colleagues. Houston is the energy capital of the world and not only would American citizens have been affected, but also a number of Trinidadians who reside and work in the energy industry in Texas.” Driver said yesterday.

Commenting on the effects of the hurricane on the Texas oil sector Driver pointed out that a number of refineries had to be taken offline

He said: “Major refineries have closed down on the ship channel. Shell’s Deer park and Exxon’s Baytown facilities have had to be shuttered as a result of hurricane Harvey. This has led to a sharp increase in US gasoline and diesel prices”

He added that some oil production had also been halted in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eagle Ford shale area in Texas but that “the decrease in demand from refineries has offset this so that any spike in WTI prices would be unlikely to take place”

Questioned about if Harvey’s devastation, and the fact that many refineries had been shutdown would have any impact on local oil refinery Petrotrin, Driver said: “The refinery margins for refineries in operation, including ours at Pointe-A-Pierre will be better especially if the refining shutdowns continue and production is slow to come back up.”

Driver said that with US production for export being disrupted, potential shortages could surface which would auger well for prices in the Caribbean and Central America.

The Chamber president however was conscious of the possible knock-on effect of hurricane Harvey for the local energy industry.

“There remains the possibility that projects here could be negatively impacted if there is continued disruption to activities taking place at head offices in Texas. For example, if drillers due in T&T are unable to return, this could manifest itself into a short term source of disruption for our local energy sector,” Driver said.

ANDRE WORRELL