* Colonial Pipeline: commercial power restored at Linden
* Hess to receive first barge at Port Reading terminal
* First oil tanker transits through Arthur Kill waterway
* Fuel shortages remain in New York and New Jersey
* Heating oil stocks low as cold storm approaches the region
By Selam Gebrekidan
NEW YORK, Nov 4 The New York Harbor energy
network was returning to normal on Sunday with mainline power
restored nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the
Yet damage to infrastructure near Linden, New Jersey, a
major northeast fuel hub, kept a major refinery and some
terminals shut, lending longer life to gasoline shortages that
have persisted in the region.
Another looming concern was that heating oil supplies were
dwindling with temperatures expected to dip to freezing in New
York by Monday.
Commercial power was restored at Colonial Pipeline's key
terminal in Linden and the company was delivering to seven
terminals on Sunday out of the 20 connected to the facility.
More than two-thirds of Colonia's customer terminals were still
offline, spokesman Steve Baker said.
NuStar Energy LP, whose Linden terminal had sustained
severe damages after Sandy, said it hoped to restore pipeline
and barge deliveries "very soon."
Just six miles south of Linden, Hess Corp was set to
receive its first barge since the storm at its Port Reading, New
Jersey terminal on Sunday night. It was also expecting first
shipments after Sandy on the Colonial Pipeline.
Power was partly restored to the company's 70,000 bpd Port
Reading, New Jersey, refinery, but it needs full power to
complete a damage assessment. Hess said it could take several
days before it could bring back utility systems necessary to
Phillips 66's Bayway refinery in Linden was idle
over the weekend after the company was forced to shut 238,000
barrel per day plant when the storm hit. Phillips
66 said it does not expect updates on operations until
In the New York Harbor, some of the four tankers carrying
refined fuels and anchored offshore were transferring shipments
to smaller barges for delivery, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
One of the tankers, Glory Express, became the first allowed
into the Arthur Kill Waterway after Sandy struck. It was headed
to Kinder Morgan's Carteret terminal in New Jersey on
Sunday afternoon, Reuters shipping data showed.
The outages hit the U.S. East Coast when gasoline and diesel
stocks were hovering near all-time lows. Total East Coast
gasoline inventories hit a record low for October in the first
week of the month and barely recovered in the weeks since,
according to U.S. Energy Department data. Similarly, East Coast
distillate stocks were at a seven-year low three weeks ago.
In a briefing on Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said
the fuel shortage is lifting in New York but problems are likely
to persist for "a number of days."
In New York, 27 percent of gasoline stations surveyed by the
Energy Department's data arm were without fuel on Sunday, down
from 38 percent on Saturday. This, along with the 30,000 gallons
of gasoline distributed by the New York National Guard on
Saturday, brought some relief to motorists troubled by the fuel
In an unprecedented move, Hess Corp, a dominant fuel
supplier in the region, published information on stock levels at
its northeast gas stations, urging customers to visit those that
have more than 7,000 gallons in stocks.
The data can be found here:
By Sunday afternoon, 1.86 million homes and businesses were
without power in states hit by the storm. Power was restored to
nearly 78 percent of customers that were without electricity
New Jersey power provider PSE&G said it brought
power back to 78 percent of gasoline stations in its service
"We have restored power to all of the refineries and
pipeline suppliers that we are aware of," PSE&G President Ralph
LaRossa said on a conference call.
However, there were still signs of the shortages that have
gripped the region, causing miles-long lines for gasoline.
Fuel rationing based on license plate numbers in New Jersey,
which was enacted by Governor Chris Christie, entered its second
day. Only cars with even numbers could buy gasoline in the state
In Montclair, New Jersey, some stations ran out of fuel
after pumping gasoline on Saturday for cars with odd-numbered
plates. This left few stations with gasoline to serve motorists
with even-numbered plates, who waited for hours on Sunday.
On the heating oil front, suppliers were optimistic there
would soon be enough supplies, barring any transportation issues
in the next few days.
Two terminals with heating oil supplies - one in the Bronx
and one in Brooklyn -- were open for business on Sunday and some
barges were expected to deliver heating oil to terminals
operated by Bayside Fuel Oil Depot terminals in Red Hook,
"If all goes smoothly we'll have enough for this week and
into the next weekend," said John Maniscalco, head of New York
Oil Heating Association.