When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, U.S. oil refining plummeted to record lows. Now, two weeks later, six key refineries remain shut down and an additional 11 are either struggling to come back on line or operating at a significantly reduced rate. That slowdown, coupled with predictions of decreased demand in the wake of Irma and the devastating earthquake that struck Mexico last week, has shifted oil pressures in other places, too. And none may be quite as vulnerable as the tank farms in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Dubbed the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” Cushing is the nexus of 14 major pipelines, including Keystone, which alone has the potential to transport as much as 600,000 barrels of oil a day. The small Oklahoma town is also home to the world’s largest store of oil which sits in hundreds of enormous tanks there. Prior to this recent spate of natural disasters, Cushing oil levels were already high. They’ve increased nearly a million barrels to nearly 60 million barrels in the two weeks since.
This concentration of oil, about 15 percent of U.S. demand, is one reason the Department of Homeland Security has designated Cushing “critical infrastructure,” which it defines as assets that, …read more
Via:: Politico Top Stories