Hurricane Laura continues strengthening as it hurdles towards the border between Texas and Louisiana. Currently a Category 3 storm, Laura is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 Catastrophic Storm with maximum sustained winds potentially surpassing 130 mph.
Landfall is set to occur overnight between Port Arthur, TX and Lake Charles, LA – both areas with major refining capacity. The storm will remain powerful as it continues north, and Tropical Storm warnings are in effect as far north as Oklahoma and Arkansas.
From a fuel supply standpoint, COVID-induced demand outages have kept fuel supply and carrier capacity abundant for months, so fuel markets are far less threatened by Hurricane Laura than past storms. Still, power outages and debris may impede fuel deliveries after the storm. In the past, hurricanes impacting America’s refining hub have threatened supply by taking refineries offline; today, refineries are only operating at 80% capacity, so temporary downtime would merely bring inventories back towards normal levels.
Mansfield remains on Code Orange for Texas and Louisiana and is also adding Arkansas and Oklahoma to the alert as the storm travels north. Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi have moved to Code Green as the storm’s forecasted path has narrowed and demand spikes have improved.
What does this mean for you: Mansfield is monitoring the storm’s progression and its potential impact on fuel supply and infrastructure. Mansfield’s experts are actively assessing inventories and adjusting delivery schedules as necessary. Mansfield will communicate any materials changes in fuel supply risk. If you expect your sites to experience abnormal demand in the coming days, please communicate changes to your Customer Relationship Manager.
To learn about Mansfield Energy’s Emergency Response Fuel Program, click here.