HOUSTON – A snowstorm dumped around two feet (60 cm) of snow in parts of the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico over the weekend, crimping some crude output and leaving roads dangerous for trucks heading to and from oil wells, forecasters and companies said on Monday.
Snow had stopped accumulating by Monday afternoon but “travel continues to be impacted as most roads are slick and snow-covered,” and some roads across southeastern New Mexico were still closed, according to a notice from the National Weather Service’s Midland, Texas, office.
Exploration and production companies Pioneer Natural Resources Co and Apache Corp, which operate in the top U.S. oil-producing basin, said they were still assessing the storm’s effect on operations, which may take several days.
“Early signs indicate the downtime is manageable and within our expectations for typical winter-weather-related downtime,” an Apache representative wrote in an email.
Devon Energy Corp said it was “experiencing some weather-related impact to its production” in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, but the company could not yet provide a detailed assessment, according to a spokesman.
Temperatures warmed on Monday, but overnight temperatures were expected to again dip below freezing, causing melting snow and ice on roads to re-freeze, which is expected to create more hazardous road conditions on Monday night and Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Representatives for Chevron Corp and Occidental Petroleum Corp, other large Permian operators, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Elsewhere, severe winter weather in parts of the U.S. South and Midwest disrupted regional shipments of some refined products and oil, including a trickle of crude trucked into the storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Additonal reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Williston, North Dakota; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)
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