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Texas oil regulator advises pipeline operators to prepare for severe winter conditions

2023-01-30T15:46:08Z

An aerial view of the Deer Park Manufacturing Complex is seen in Deer Park, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The Texas oil regulator on Sunday advised oil and gas pipeline operators to secure equipment and facilities after forecasts for severe weather over the next several days.

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), which oversees the state’s oil and gas industries, issued the notice after the National Weather Service forecast wintry precipitation and ice accumulations across several parts of the state.

The oil regulator advised the operators to secure all personnel, equipment and facilities to prevent injury or damage, and monitor and prepare operations for potential impacts.

It also asked the operators to “heed” all watches, warnings and orders issued by local emergency officials and monitor weather reports.

“Significant icing possible due to freezing rain. Total ice accumulations of one-tenth to one quarter of an inch, particularly on elevated surfaces and bridges. Some sleet will be possible,” the National Weather Service said in a forecast for portions of north central, northeast and south central Texas.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates most of the state’s power grid, also issued a notice for a potential freezing precipitation event for the Panhandle, north, west and central areas of the region beginning on Monday through Thursday.

Millions of Texans were left without power, water and heat for days during a deadly winter storm in February 2021 after the shutdown of a large amount of electric generation and gas pipelines.