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RBOB rally extends amid Colonial Pipeline outage on Hurricane Ida


Colonial Pipeline evaluating system for restart

Widespread power outages impacting refinery restarts

Crude falls back to even as Ida weakens

  • Author
  • Chris van Moessner
  • Editor
  • Manish Parashar
  • Commodity
  • Oil
  • Tags
  • United States

NYMEX RBOB futures moved higher Aug. 30 as the closure of the Colonial Pipeline ahead of Hurricane Ida threatened to stress already tight gasoline supply.

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At 1449 GMT, NYMEX September RBOB was up 3.14 cents at $2.3056/gal while September ULSD was 1.05 cents higher at $2.1197/gal.

Colonial Pipeline started the damage assessment process early Aug. 30 after Hurricane Ida swept through Louisiana and will then set a timeline for restarting the country's primary fuel artery for much of the Southeast and the East Coast.

Colonial Pipeline said Aug. 29 that it had temporarily shut down its Lines 1 and 2 systems from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina. Colonial's Lines 3 and 4 from North Carolina to New Jersey never ceased operations. The pipeline is a key artery supplying the US South and East Coast with refined products, and its closure threatens to stress already tight regional gasoline stocks, which stood nearly 13% behind the five-year average in the week ended Aug. 20.

The ICE New York Harbor RBOB crack versus Brent climbed to $16.92/b midmorning, up from an Aug. 27 close of $16.32/b.

Widespread power outages across the region were impacting the restart of refinery operations, further stressing refined product outlooks.

Crude futures were trading around even as a weakened Hurricane Ida moved inland.

NYMEX October WTI was up 5 cents at $68.79/b and ICE October Brent was 14 cents higher at $72.84/b.

Latest forecasts from the US National Hurricane Center showed Ida had moved well inland and weakened to a tropical storm. The system had made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Aug. 29 near Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Aug. 29 that 95.65% of the US Gulf's crude oil, or 1.741 million b/d, already was shut in, as well as 93.75% of the region's about 2.2 Bcf/d of natural gas production, or about 2.091 Bcf/d. An estimated 288 offshore platforms were evacuated -- 51.4% of the US Gulf's total.