Outages, floods hit two N.J. refineries; others restart

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:46pm EDT
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By Janet McGurty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The second-largest refinery on the U.S. East Coast suffered some flooding and a power outage from Hurricane Sandy, and two smaller plants also lost power, as glitches threatened to slow the recovery in fuel supplies disrupted by the massive storm.

While the region's biggest plant, in Philadelphia, and several others were ramping up operations after escaping damage, other facilities, pipelines and terminals were struggling to restore the flow of supplies that had slowed to a trickle.

Phillips 66 (PSX.N: Quote) said there was "some flooding in low-lying areas" of its 238,000 barrel-per-day Bayway, New Jersey, plant, which was shut on Monday as a precaution. The plant remains closed, the company said, and utility PSE&G said power was likely to be restored no sooner than in 24 to 48 hours.

News of trouble at Bayway, nicknamed the "gasoline machine" for its key role in supplying motor fuel to the New York City area, pared losses in gasoline futures which had fallen more than 2 percent as output recovered elsewhere and traders bet that fuel consumption would be hit. <O/R>

RBOB futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), which was due to reopen its trading floor on Wednesday, closed down 1 percent, their first loss in three days. By late afternoon they had erased losses and turned higher.

Other power-related glitches also surfaced after the storm, which left more than 8 million customers without electricity, shut seven major regional airports and all but halted traffic on the nation's most heavily traveled roads.

As the storm moved north, a power outage shut Imperial Oil's (IMO.TO: Quote) 121,000-bpd Sarnia, Ontario, refinery, but the company said it expected to restart units later in the day.

Hess Corp's (HES.N: Quote) 70,000-bpd Port Reading, New Jersey, refinery, which had also shut ahead of Sandy, lost power and had no time frame for restarting.   Continued...