Tens of millions are nonetheless with out energy in Texas as the facility grid falters
People are lining up in Houston on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 to fill their empty propane tanks. Temperatures stayed below freezing on Tuesday and many residents were without electricity.
Brett Coomer | Houston Chronicle | AP
Millions in Texas faced power outages for the third straight year on Wednesday as the deadly storm that brought storm and ice to the region continues to devastate the state’s energy infrastructure.
An estimated three million barrels of oil per day went offline. Power generation from natural gas to coal to renewable energies has been affected, as has consumers turning up their thermostats in freezing temperatures.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures prices rose as much as 2%, trading at $ 61.25 a barrel before falling that level. The international reference value Brent crude oil was slightly higher at USD 63.51 per barrel. Gasoline futures rose nearly 1% despite natural gas falling after the jump on Tuesday. Heating oil futures were higher.
With “oil wells and refineries offline, we could face a significant deficit for a few days and further tighten supply at a time when it has already been curtailed and demand is likely to return,” wrote Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst at OANDA.
“This is only a short-term glitch, however, so we don’t see any major impact on oil prices that show signs of overbought,” added Erlam. “This shouldn’t come as a huge shock after a 70% rally since early November. Much optimism about the economic recovery is now being priced in so the market may be prepared for a minor correction.”
The unusually harsh winter storms left more than 3 million people in Texas without power, nearly 100,000 in Kentucky, and more than 70,000 in West Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us.
The blackouts raised questions about the stability of the power grid and prompted some members of Congress to request hearings on why the system failed.
“Ultimately, those responsible for the operation and management of our energy network must answer for the gross breakdown of our energy infrastructure and insufficient communication with the public,” said Rep. Van Taylor, R-Texas, in a statement.