As Houston continues to recover from the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the record-shattering flooding it brought, the state's energy industry is beginning to return to normal with coastal and offshore production facilities, pipelines and refineries coming back online. Production capacity in refineries is still weak, though, and panic around a perceived shortage created long lines and "no gas" signs to appear at the pumps in many of the state's largest cities. Meanwhile, the final closing of the mega-merger between Dow and DuPont finally happened. Here are five things to know in Texas energy this week.
• Texas' coastal refineries have begin to produce refined products, including gasoline, once again after being shut in by Hurricane Harvey. The largest of them, Motiva Enterprises LLC's facility in Port Arthur, Texas, was set to reach 40 percent of its maximum capacity by the end of the weekend.
• The start-ups should provide some much needed stability to gasoline markets, which have seen a significant amount of panic buying from Texas consumers in the past couple of weeks. The consumer concerns, though, are self-fulfilling prophecies — there's plenty of gasoline in storage to last until refineries can return fully to the market.
• The Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to federal Jones Act regulations, which restrict shipments between U.S. ports. The waiver makes it easier to ship fuel along the coasts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “This is a precautionary measure to ensure we have enough fuel to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of this potentially devastating storm,” said Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in a press release.
• Meanwhile, the final closing of the megamerger between Dow and DuPont to form the aptly-named DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) was effective as of Aug. 31, according to a statement. Ed Breen, who was the CEO of DuPont before the merger, is CEO of the combined companies. Both Dow and DuPont have significant presences in Houston.
• Houston-based Jyoti Americas LLC, which manufactures power transmission infrastructure, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, bringing more than $100 million in debt to the court. That's partially offset by between $50 million and $100 million in assets, but the company said in a court filing that it will not have any funds left over to repay unsecured creditors after it pays administrative expenses.
Read the full article from the Houston Business Journal.