HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Phillips 66 has requested a Jones Act waiver to allow it to use foreign vessels to move crude or products to and from its 260,000-barrel-per-day Alliance refinery in Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey, the company said on Sunday.
The Jones Act requires all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. Waivers can only be granted based on interest of national defense such as national emergencies.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, waivers were issued to allow foreign vessels to transport oil and natural gas between domestic ports. Texas governor Greg Abbott has said the population size and number of homes affected by Harvey is bigger than for Katrina or Hurricane Sandy.
“We can confirm the Jones Act waiver request to supply Alliance. The request is still pending,” the company said in an email, referring to its refinery south of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Phillips 66 on Saturday said it was preparing to resume operations at its Sweeny refinery, as well as at its Old Ocean and Beaumont oil terminals in Texas and its Pasadena refined products terminal.
It also said its fractionation plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas suspended operations due to lack of storage capacity.
Reporting by Catherine Ngai, writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Andrew Hay