For energy security, power is the new oil

Categories: Big picture
Published on: February 26, 2021

Forbes / Mark Finley / 25 February 2021

[ TB: “Power” as used here appears to mean “electricity”. ]

The deep freeze that afflicted the center of the US last week caused massive power outages in Texas and surrounding states. The plight of millions without power and heat captured the headlines and attracted world-wide attention.

In the meantime, other energy-related disruptions triggered by the same weather events remained largely unnoticed, despite the fact that any of one of them would be on the list of biggest US energy disruptions ever:

  • As much as 4 million barrels per day (Mb/d) of US oil production was shut-in, nearly 40% of domestic crude supply, with the Permian basin especially impacted;
  • Nearly 6 Mb/d US Gulf Coast refining capacity was shut-in (roughly 30% of the national total);
  • Up to 20 billion cubic feet per day of US natural gas production was shut-in (20% of total production);

What little discussion there was of shortages at gasoline stations and of natural gas outages, was in the context of the power outages.

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