Four Louisiana oil refineries restarting after Ida, 5 still shut

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HOUSTON — Four oil refineries in Louisiana have initiated the restart process since Saturday after Hurricane Ida knocked out most of the state’s oil processing, while five have yet to resume operations.

In the last 24 hours, all three oil refineries in the Baton Rouge area and one near New Orleans have initiated the restart process, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said on Sunday. These four refineries accounted for 1.3 million barrels per day of U.S. refinery capacity.

Marathon Petroleum Corp on Friday said its 578,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Garyville, Louisiana, refinery, the state’s largest, was in the initial stages of restarting.

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Exxon Mobil Corp’s had also resumed operations at its 520,000-bpd Baton Rouge refinery.

Full restoration of normal refinery output will take two to three weeks for refineries in the region.

Refineries have been taking more days to resume activity than they did in past storms due to power outages and logistical issues. Climate change is fueling deadly and disastrous weather across the globe, including stronger and more damaging hurricanes.

Power has been restored to seven of the impacted refineries since Friday, the DOE said.

The five refineries still shut in Louisiana account for about 1.0 million barrels per day, or approximately 6% of total U.S. operable refining capacity, the DOE said.

The restart timelines in New Orleans may take longer due to flooding and ongoing power supply issues, the DOE said.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)