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Storm Could Leave Texas Without Power for Days

Storm Could Leave Texas Without Power for Days

Continued need for blackouts to control demand is likely as data shows little sign of improvement in available power supply.

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Much of Texas could remain in the dark due to the winter storm passing through the United States. The freeze has knocked out power to more than 3 million customers and forced the shutdown of refineries, oil wells and meat plants.

Rolling blackouts are likely to continue on Wednesday as operators are slow to restart power generation due to the storm. On Tuesday, outages extended to North Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Texas grid operator says it could be days before enough power plants come online to restore supply. CenterPoint Energy Inc. also warned residents that the outages could last several more days.

In the Permian Basin, major producer Occidental Petroleum Corp. told customers it would be forced to reduce oil deliveries, while Chevron Corp. shut down some wells in the region. Fracking in major U.S. shale fields has been curtailed and oil production has plummeted by a third.

Texas has been one of the hardest hit areas. The polar vortex sweeping the United States has led to a 20% increase in energy demand.

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