Threats to Texas power supply from new freezer


New warnings are being issued for power supplies in Texas as the state prepares for subzero weather conditions in the coming days.

Just over a fortnight ago, the first arctic explosion of the year crippled many gas wells and processing plants, raising concerns about Lone Star State’s level of preparedness this time around, Bloomberg reported.

The main concern of Texas lawmakers will be to protect the natural gas drillers, wind farms and solar panels that continue to drive the state’s economy — and help provide electricity to its 30 millions of inhabitants.

During the arctic cold earlier this month, more than 10% of Texas gas production was taken offline over a two-day period, according to data provided by Bloomberg NEF.

The second-largest US state is still reeling from the effects of last year’s severe freeze, which killed more than 200 people in February alone.

Some, like Democratic congressional candidate Coy Branscum, have criticized Republican leaders in Texas for failing to take effective action in the past 11 months that would help prevent this from happening again.

The temperature drop will vary across Texas, but one city that could suffer more than most is Midland. Home to the Permian Basin oil and gas field, temperatures are expected to hit a low of 18 degrees Fahrenheit next week.

While virtually any power supply is at risk of being affected by such extreme conditions, gas wells are particularly susceptible to “freezes” due to the high volumes of groundwater that typically flow out of the ground next to the fuel.

Texas has been hit by record winter storms

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

During this month’s cold spell, West Texas crude hit a two-week high as buyers rushed to stock up in anticipation of upcoming shortages.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees oil and gas production in the state, sent an email and held two conference calls Tuesday about the upcoming freeze with major producers and major pipeline operators.

“They have planned for nothing other than normal production fluctuations, however, they are prepared to address any issues they may have with overnight freezing temperatures,” the Railroad Commission spokesperson said. , RJ DeSilva, in a statement emailed to Bloomberg.

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