Last updateThu, 06 May 2021 8pm

Texas Power Grid Overmatched by Severe Winter Weather

“Millions of Texans were without heat and electricity Monday as snow, ice and frigid temperatures caused a catastrophic failure of the state’s power grid,” The Houston Chronicle reports.

“The Texas power grid, powered largely by wind and natural gas, is relatively well equipped to handle the state’s hot and humid summers when demand for power soars. But unlike blistering summers, the severe winter weather delivered a crippling blow to power production, cutting supplies as the falling temperatures increased demand.” 

U.S. Petroleum Imports to Increase Dramatically by 2022

Throughout much of its history, the U.S. has imported more petroleum (which includes crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other liquids) than it has exported. That status changed in 2020. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) February 2021 Short-Term Energy Outlook estimates that 2020 marked the first year that the United States exported more petroleum than it imported on an annual basis. However, largely because of declines in domestic crude oil production and corresponding increases in crude oil imports, EIA expects the U.S. to return to being a net petroleum importer on an annual basis in both 2021 and 2022.  

Chevron Attempting to Acquire Noble Midstream Partners

Chevron has submitted a non-binding proposal to Noble Midstream Partners to acquire all of the publicly held common units representing limited partner interests not already owned by Chevron and its affiliates. Chevron is proposing to acquire the common units through a merger transaction in exchange for shares of common stock of Chevron, at a value of $1.13 billion. 

U.S. Chemical Production Ends Year on a High Note

The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI), rose 1.2% in December following a 0.6% gain in November and a 1.2% increase in October, according to the American Chemistry Council. During December, chemical output grew in all regions, with the largest gains occurring in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions. Chemical production expanded in all segments except miscellaneous other inorganic chemicals. The U.S. CPRI is measured on a three-month moving average basis.

Compared with December 2019, U.S. chemical production was off 2.7%, the nineteenth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, but reflecting improvement versus earlier in the year. Chemical production remained lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest year-ago declines seen in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions. 

Water Treatment Plant Hacked in Florida, Disaster Averted

A water treatment plant in Oldsmar, FL, near Tampa, was hacked last week. “Experts have warned for decades about vulnerabilities of utilities and other critical infrastructure. And the attack in Oldsmar last Friday is the stuff of critical infrastructure nightmares,” NBC Miami reports.

“In Oldsmar, it was an observant employee who saw something wrong and stopped the chemicals from reaching the water supply.” 

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