Meanwhile, the US' largest refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, yesterday said it has reduced its production rate to 40 per cent capacity, as refineries up and down the Texas coast battled the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey, which first hit the state Friday as a hurricane.
That included Exxon Mobil's Baytown refinery, the second largest in the country. Separately, energy-related industrials giant, Caterpillar Inc., was slightly higher. USA traded crude-oil futures were off 0.5% at $47.42 a barrel. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. The company said it dispatched workers to the region. Those hurricanes also temporarily disrupted refining capacity.
The flooding has interrupted 16% of US refining capacity, or about 785,000 gallons of gas lost each day, according to Goldman Sachs.
Exxon Mobil has more than 23,000 employees in Texas and Louisiana.
The disclosures highlight the danger posed by flooding in a refinery-rich section of the U.S. coast that stretches from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Louisiana.
Other refineries on the Gulf Coast have reported no major damage so far.
The company said about 45kg of benzene and 45kg of toluene were released.
The company's Corpus Christi plant produces 293,000 barrels per day, while its Three Rivers plant produces 89,000 barrels.
Houston also marks the beginning of the Colonial Pipeline, which transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, heating oil and aviation fuel each day to as far as the NY harbor. Power outages during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 forced the shutdown of parts of the Colonial Pipeline for several days. Exxon said at the time that it disagreed with the finding. But that depends on the severity of the storm.
Meanwhile, other ExxonMobil facilities in the Gulf Coast remain in operation, but all those offshore facilities affected by the storm have had personnel evacuated.
The shutdown may lead to higher prices at the gas pump.
Gasoline futures shot up 6 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $1.78 a gallon in trading Tuesday.
"You're talking about a situation where a month from now gas prices will probably be lower".