May 21, 2013 / 3:14 PM / 5 years ago

Energy infrastructure largely spared Oklahoma tornado's fury

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Energy infrastructure in Oklahoma largely escaped the fury of a vicious tornado that ripped through a central Oklahoma city on Monday, though a natural gas pipeline reported some damage, companies said.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline Inc late Monday declared force majeure on a portion of its natural gas pipeline near Cement, Oklahoma, about 53 miles southeast of Moore, where a 2-mile (3-km) wide tornado killed at least 24 people, injured scores more and pulverized dozens of structures, including an elementary school.

Southern Star said it had isolated most of the line segment and several receipt points would be unavailable until further notice.

Operations were unaffected at the U.S. crude futures hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, about 77 miles northeast of Moore.

“Cushing did not have any damage from the storms,” nor did it lose power, Cushing City Manager Stephen Spears told Reuters on Tuesday morning about the hub where 49.7 million barrels of crude is stored.

Valero Energy Corp said its 87,400 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Ardmore, Oklahoma, about 89 miles south of Moore, was not affected by the severe weather.

Phillips 66 said the same about its 198,400 bpd refinery in Ponca City, about 112 miles north of Moore.

Enterprise Products Partners spokesman Rick Rainey also said he had heard of no issues with its operations in Oklahoma, which include the 400,000 bpd Seaway pipeline that carries crude from Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Reporting By Kristen Hays and Erwin Seba in Houston; Robert Gibbons and Eileen Houlihan in New York and Shrutee Sarkar in Bangalore; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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