A deep freeze in Texas that started over the weekend continued to wreak havoc on the U.S. energy sector on Tuesday, grounding operations at the Houston Ship channel and curbing output in the nation’s largest oil field in the Permian, while several of the biggest oil refineries remained offline.
Historic subzero cold has knocked out about 3.3 million barrels per day of refining capacity, which equals 18% of national capacity, according to Reuters calculations, and industry analysts say crude production could be affected for days or weeks.
Around 5.3 million customers were without power nationwide due to winter storms, with Texas the hardest hit with around 4.3 million customers affected, according to local power companies.
The cold snap sent U.S. oil prices to near 13-month highs, while front-month gas futures jumped to an over three-month high.
In the spot market, next-day power at the ERCOT North hub jumped to a record high of $1,489.75 per megawatt hour (MWh).