Exxon says Houston Ship Channel shutdown is hitting refinery output

|About: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)|By:, SA News Editor

Exxon Mobil (XOM) says the shutdown of the Houston Ship Channel is affecting production rates at its huge Baytown refining complex, but the company does not disclose how large a drop it expects, only that it expects to meet its contractual obligations.

Tudor Pickering analysts say they don't think the spill will create a major energy event but a multi-day channel shutdown would have some effects on imports and inventories.

Companies aren't ready to detail potential problems: Valero (VLO), which has a refinery in Texas City, says it doesn't discuss refinery production rates, and Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), which owns a refining and petrochemical complex in Deer Park near the Houston Ship Channel, says it has contingency plans in place to deal with a prolonged shutdown.

Phillips 66's (PSX) nearest refinery complex is in Sweeny, ~60 miles away from Houston, and gets most of its oil through waterways in Freeport; it doesn't foresee the spill affecting that plant's production.

The Coast Guard says there is no timetable on when the ship channel may reopen.