Texas Power Outage Raises Oil Price
A power outage that swept across Texas City, Texas (USA) has slowed operations in three major U.S. oil refineries. The result of the disruption in production at the three refineries—which process more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day—has caused oil futures to gain 1.5 percent. This is the highest spike on record since July 2008.
“The power outage in Texas City affects over 4 percent of the refining capacity in the nation,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “We will lose gasoline production over the next couple of days as inventories have already been steadily falling since the middle of February.”
BP, Marathon Oil and Valero Energy Corp. refineries were shut down amidst the power outage. However, sources report that Valero has already restarted production at its refinery.
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
Renewable Geothermal Energy Pumps Up Heat’s Power Potential
Mining Safety: Bioleaching Bacteria Clean Toxic Mine Tailings
The Future of Batteries: A Distributed Approach to Energy Storage
Check out the latest issue of Energy Digital!
How does this translate at the pump? Well, gasoline prices rose 0.6 cents during the power outage. This may not seem like much, but as prices have steadily been rising, it is becoming clearer just how fragile the complicated oil network actually is.
A lot of fingers have been placing blame on speculators lately for higher oil prices, but infrastructure plays just as crucial a role, especially refineries. Let us not forget that several of Japan’s refineries were destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami, which had a dramatic effect on oil prices.
The oil game is a lot like taking an economics class in Las Vegas. You have your supply and demand—and the distribution networks that support them both—and then you have speculators gambling the odds of the market. If any part of that system comes into conflict, then the entirety is affected. A handful of refineries halting production for a few days is just one example.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.