Houston, 31 August (Argus) — Motiva began restarting the largest US refinery over the weekend as the western US Gulf coast continued recovery from Hurricane Laura’s destruction.

The company, Saudi Aramco’s US refining subsidiary, reported startup work on 29 August at its 600,000 b/d refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. It was the last facility in a cluster of 1.5mn b/d of US refining capacity located just outside the worst of the hurricane’s damage to begin restarting.

Another 810,000 b/d of western Louisiana refinery capacity could remain off line for weeks as crews repair damage to the facilities and the surrounding electrical grid. Regional power grid utility Entergy as of yesterday had no estimate for how long it would take to repair power infrastructure near Lake Charles, Louisiana, which bore the brunt of severe winds racing at 150mph (240km/h) when Laura roared ashore on 27 August. About 174,000 Louisiana customers were without power yesterday. Louisiana outages peaked with roughly 27pc of customers statewide without power immediately after the storm.

Gulf coast recovering from Hurricane Laura- Port of Lake Charles - oilandgas360About 70pc of US Gulf of Mexico oil production and 50pc of gas production remained shut in yesterday. Oil shut ins peaked at around 84pc and gas shut ins at around 61pc as the storm intensified on its way to the Texas-Louisiana border.

The Ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Galveston were open with restrictions over the weekend. Galveston’s entrance channel was open to one-way traffic. The Port of Houston reopened.

The Port of Lake Charles, which handles about 394,000 b/d of imported crude, according to the US Department of Energy, remained shut.

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