Blackouts in Texas as big freezes up the energy markets

Millions of households in Texas are suffering from power outages for the first time in a decade as an unprecedented Arctic freezer chaos in US energy markets.

The largest cities from Houston to San Antonio were without power for magic for up to an hour at a time as supplies in the United States’ second-largest state fluctuated wildly.

“Every network operator and power company is struggling to restore power right now,” said Bill Magness, president and CEO of Ercot, the state power grid operator.

The extreme cold surprised the highly decentralized Texas electricity market despite the fact that it was on its way a week ago about the impending cool temperatures of the US National Weather Service. As that equates to 2 million households being cut off at a time, the situation is expected to get worse throughout Monday. Ercot expects power demand to reach a record high and break a record set during a summer heat wave in 2019.

These are the first rolling power outages caused by cold weather since 2011. Peaks in electricity demand usually occur in the summer in Texas, when the use of air conditioners increases. A loss of frequency on the grid has caused the 30 gigawatt generation to stop. Many stations will have been under scheduled maintenance, leaving the network more exposed under unusually large peaks in demand.

ON ICE: Cold cutting Permian production with 1 million barrels a day

Rotating interruptions are likely to last all of Monday morning and are a possibility until weather conditions abate, Ercot said in a statement.

About 800 daily records of cold temperatures have been surpassed in the past week as Arctic air pushes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Across the United States, winter storm warnings and weather forecasts affect 157 million people, said Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

Parts of Texas were colder than Alaska, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature at 5 in Houston was 18 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to the reading in Anchorage. In the Dallas Fort Worth area, it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool temperatures and a hurricane of storms in the United States follow other instances of extreme winter weather this year that have ravaged ports and upward energy markets in Asia and Europe. Texas, not used to the full rage of winter, gets a great taste. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency and mobilized federal aid to help local efforts.

Power crunch

“We expect to be in emergency operations tomorrow until at least Tuesday morning,” said Dan Woodfin, senior director at Ercot.

The current is amplified by a lack of wind generation to help ease the load with a production that is more than halved to 4.2 gigawatts from the past. Wind turbines can freeze in bitterly cold weather, which reduces efficiency, and the blades can eventually stop turning.

FALLS ON SITE: Stars agree for further rally in crude oil prices

Previously, spot prices in Texas’ West-hub network exceeded $ 9,000 per share. Megawatt hour, an increase of 3,466% from Friday according to data collected by Bloomberg. LNG exports from the United States also plummeted to freeze-closed ports and wells, and oil production also took a hit, with oil production in Perm declining by as much as a million barrels a day. West Texas Intermediate futures rose as much as 2.5%, over $ 60 per share. Barrel for the first time in more than a year.

The cut to crude supply threatens to release a rush for everything from propane to heating oil, fuels used in mobile heating units.

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