The energy sector is always difficult to predict, as it is exposed to a wide variety of market forces, from politics to new discoveries to increased demand, etc. So the last thing the market needed was a shock to the system in terms of a “once in 800 year” hurricane and flooding damage. While the energy industry recovers – slowly – we are just getting a real glimpse of how interconnected everything has become.
Put in perspective, because of increased global connectedness of the energy industry, hurricanes in the Gulf region have a greater impact on fuel markets outside of the United States. The United States is a major exporter of crude, refined and NGLS, LNG and petrochemicals. So truly, the storms in one way or another affected the world.
Within a few days, a full quarter of the U.S. refining system went offline. Reopening the plants to full capacity took several weeks, as utilities supplies and crude oil experienced logistics issues. As a result, the prices on fuel took a hike across the nation while offshore imports took time to arrive and refinery supplies were shut down. Markets more directly impacted (such as Atlanta or Miami) saw dramatic price hikes that took much longer to come down.
It is at times like this that we realize just how important it is to fine-tune our processes and reexamine our equipment. In an already tight market, making sure the crude sampling process is highly efficient, for example, or that the mixing process for additives in the refinery process is top notch can make a real difference when the market takes a beating for a variety of reasons.
Komax has a wealth of experience with innovative static mixers directly in the pipeline that can handle serious input without fouling or sludging while ensuring consistent batches every time. Let us help your business put this once in a lifetime experience into perspective and examine the best way to continue doing your vital manufacturing work moving forward.