Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike - Update - Port and Refinery Closures and Emergency Procedures

Information about fuel supplies in Texas has been obtained and is being posted here and on Stealth Survival for the benefit of people wanting more information prior to Hurricane Ike's arrival on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Here is that information:

Update, September 11, 2008 – 2:00 p.m.

Storm Update:

As of 10:00 a.m. CDT Thursday, Hurricane Ike was about 470 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas. Ike is traveling west-northwestward at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Ike is a very large Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend 115 miles outward from Ike's center. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles.

The circulation of Ike is so large that it is already causing water levels to rise 1-3 feet across the entire Gulf Coast from South Florida to Texas.

The best estimate right now is for landfall somewhere between Matagorda Bay and Galveston, Texas. Nonetheless, a devastating storm surge is expected for more than 100 miles east of landfall. One should not focus on an exact landfall location at this time, and all interests along the western Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of Ike closely.

Ike will remain a major hurricane when making landfall along the Texas coast during the early morning hours Saturday. There is some chance for Ike to become a Category 4. hurricane;

Operational Update:

No wide-spread outages have been reported. Historically, we do experience spot outages due to the increased demand. We are focusing on regional evacuation outages and as we can.

Other reports:

The overall fuel system is stressed with increased demand.


In the Houston area, retailers reporting retail demands that are 4-5X higher than normal but not abnormal for this type of situation.


The industry continues to obtain, position, and load fuel into the Texas regions likely to be impacted by Hurricane Ike.


Refineries are evaluating their safety considerations and shut-down processes.

Seven of nine Houston-area refineries representing roughly 1,985 million barrels of refining capacity have confirmed that they are shutting down ahead of Hurricane Ike.

Another refinery in Corpus Christi has shut down, taking an additional 288,000 barrels per day out of the fuel supply. Valero’s refinery in Port Arthur is operating at reduced levels.


It is likely that once terminals experience sustained tropical winds (39 mph), the racks will shut down loading activities until it is safe again. Tropical Storm winds are to be expected in the Houston/Pasadena area sometime on Friday morning. After Hurricane Ike passes through and all assets are operational the Truck Rack will reopen and all customers/carriers will be contacted. Racks in San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston are increasing supplies in readiness.


Grade outages reported at some stations. Demand is intense in some locations and this changes as refueling occurs and newevacuation takes place.

Dynamic Messaging:

Since Ike has entered the Gulf, TXDOT is now running messages on their dynamic message boards on the Gulf coast that a hurricaneis in the Gulf and to fuel vehicles.


The following counties have issued Mandatory Evacuations: Galveston, Chambers, Jefferson, and Orange.

Partial Evacuations: Southern Harris and Matagorda.

The following counties have issued voluntary evacuations: Nueces, Victoria, Brazoria, Jackson, and San Patrico.


TXDOT issued the waiver for overweight trucks and hours of service. (See TxOGA’s website).

TCEQ: TCEQ will exercise its enforcement discretion in advance of Hurricane Ike's projected landfall for temporary vehicle fueling facilities (Stage II Vapor Recovery Requirements) to allow for fueling of vehicles from facilities other than service stations. The length of time for this enforcement discretion is through the duration of this event. Please know that TCEQ is supportive of this proposal, to allow the flexibility needed to prepare for and respond to the catastrophic threat Texas faces from Hurricane Ike.

TCEQ is granting a 1 week extension for the Title V deviation report.

The TCEQ will extend its enforcement discretion in advance of Hurricane Ike's projected landfall to the counties to be potential impacted, and from today (September 11, 2008) through the "duration of the event." This will include:

Ongoing physical opacity monitoring and leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements, including daily and weekly audio, visual and olfactory requirements, component monitoring and inspections, carbon canister monitoring, container monitoring, initial repair attempts, final repairs, and follow-up monitoring;

Periodic monitoring of cooling tower systems;
Periodic sampling of storm water outfalls;
Periodic groundwater monitoring and inspections pursuant to agreed orders or compliance plans;
Inspections of hazardous and solid waste storage areas;
Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEMs) requirements due to the potential loss of CEMs prior to equipment being brought down;
State and federal NSPS, NESHAP and MACT requirements regarding flare operations and monitoring due to potential loss of pilot flame and inability to monitor;
State and federal NSPS and MACT requirements for floating roof tanks, including the potential for landing tank roofs on their legs;
Recordkeeping and reporting obligations related to the above; and
Other recordkeeping and reporting obligations that would otherwise be due during this period.

TCEQ will exercise its enforcement discretion in advance of Hurricane Ike's projected landfall to industry that is within an area covered by a mandatory evacuation order. The requested length of time for this enforcement discretion is from the date of the mandatory evacuation order until, through the duration of the event. This will include:

State and federal NSPS, NESHAP and MACT requirements regarding control devices (vapor recovery units, vapor combustor units, and flares), including permit terms and conditions.

Truck Staging:

San Antonio has offered Wolff Stadium as a staging area for fuel trucks and chemical haulers to wait out the storm. Please contact Debbie Hastings at 512-424-2208 (Fuel desk) for more details.


The U.S. Coast Guard ordered area the Port of Houston Port to begin closing to ship traffic today over concerns that Hurricane Ike would produce rough seas.

Port Freeport, about 65 miles south of Houston in a mandatory evacuation zone for Brazoria County, shut down early Wednesday afternoon.

Port Lavaca no ships are coming into the port.

The Port of Galveston is closed.

Recovery and Re-entry:

Employers report that they are activating their response teams are preparing for recovery including the pre-positioning of generators. We are working with TCEQ to obtain waivers specific to staging temporary fuel tanks for these generators.The re-entry letter prepared for Hurricane Gustav will be applicable for Hurricane Ike. (The letter and motor carrier waiver are available on TxOGA’s website.) As a reminder:

Please keep a list of persons to whom your company distributes this letter. This list should be available should the state request confirmation of individual names.

In addition to this letter from the state, your re-entry employees/contractors will need a letter from your corporate office authorizing them as critical personnel.

Re-entry employees will need photo identification like a driver's license or employee identification.

If personnel have TWIC cards or local credentials, please ensure that they have those as well. The more information that they have available to demonstrate their critical role in the re-entry process, the smoother it should go.

Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.



Mayberry said...

Damn good info!

riverwalker said...

To: mayberry

National media is sensationalizing the storm quite a bit without a lot of "real" information. Thanks for all the updates on the network for everybody. I'm currently on 24/7 Emergency status due to job - somebody has to stay and watch the "bad guys".


Anonymous said...

They just said on tv that the refineries will be closed about 1 - 3 weeks depending on what happens. They compared that to the 3 months Katrina and I am guess though they never mentioned it Rita did.

Dragon said...

Riverwalker, I've posted about every relevant NOAA and NHC link over at my blog... Some of those link update every two minutes.
I hope they are of some help to the Texas folks.
Good Luck and God Bless,Dragon

riverwalker said...

To: dragon

Thanks. We can use all the help we can get right now. While only a CAT 2 hurricane, the immense size of this storm will have far reaching consequences.