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EPA Approves Hurricane-Related TxLED Diesel Waiver for Texas

As the result of the disruption in the supply of fuel caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is waiving certain special diesel fuel requirements that apply only in the state of Texas. EPA will allow the suspension of the Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED) requirements until 30 Sept.; however, federal regulations for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel with a maximum sulfur content of 15 parts per million must still be met.

EPA has already approved two waivers from volatility and reformulated gas requirements in Texas, one on 1 Sept. (earlier post) and one on 11 Sept. (earlier post).

According to the US Minerals Management Service (MMS), approximately 99.9% of the oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated current oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 93.8 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated current natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico is 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability reports that refinery capacity shut-down is 3,573,120 barrels per day—about 20% of the US’s total operable refinery capacity of 17.610 million barrels per day (EIA data). Oil refineries suffered minimal damage from Hurricane Ike, according to the report, and are making preparations to restart operations.

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