By now, the lights are back on for most Texans as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, says power supply now exceeds demand.
Still, as the dust settles after a chaotic week for America’s so-called energy capital, long-term effects of the arctic blast are becoming more clear. Oil and gas infrastructure took a hit as temperatures plummeted, refineries lost power, wellheads froze – all dealing a blow to the energy economy.
“The supply side of the picture has been much more affected than the demand side. So granted, the inclement weather has dented driving demand,” said Matt Smith, directory of commodity research at Clipperdata. “The energy infrastructure has taken the biggest hit. And all the way along the supply chain. So oil production in Texas and particularly in the Permian Basin was considerably impacted due to both freeze offs, because of the low temperatures and because of power outages. And so it’s been touted that about four million barrels a day of U.S. production went offline at the peak.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above