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North Dakota Oil Output Down Up to 650,000 BPD in Severe Storm

Severe weather conditions have cut oil production significantly in the American shale patch, with power outages, refinery shutdowns and production stoppages taking hundreds of thousands of barrels offline. 

The winter storm has significantly impacted TotalEnergy’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, which was shut down last Friday due to a malfunction on the gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC). 

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the winter storm has now led to a full power outage at the 238,000 barrel-per-day refinery. 

Port Arthur is one of TotalEnergies’ largest refining and petrochemicals platforms.

Another refinery in Texas has been affected by freezing rain and planned maintenance. 

According to Reuters, three refineries in Port Arthur have shut down some units.  

At the same time, oil output in North Dakota has been reduced by half, shedding up to 650,000 barrels per day. The latest available figures, for October, showed that North Dakota’s oil production averaged 1.24 million bpd during that month, slightly down from 1.28 million bpd in September, due to a snowfall in late October that curtailed some production. Most of the oil output, 97%, came from the Bakken and Three Forks formations, according to data from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.The all-time high of 1.52 million bpd production was reached in November 2019, just before the pandemic. 

Natural gas production in North Dakota is also suffering in the severe storm, with Reuters saying the state expects output to be down by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, to 1.8 billion cubic feet. 

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The storm situation has worsened since Monday, when North Dakota authorities were expecting to lose 280,000 barrels per day of output, compared to up to 650,000 bpd on Tuesday. 

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on January 16 2024 said:
    Clearly reflected in today's natural gas futures trading absolutely.

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