Hurricane Sandy’s impact on large parts of New Jersey and the New York City area made for riveting and sobering television, prompting an outpouring of responses – including those from the oil and natural gas industry, including:
- Hess Corporation, ExxonMobil, the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery and the BP Foundation made donations to relief funds in New Jersey and New York, as well as the American Red Cross. In addition Hess offered a matching gift program for employees who wish to make a personal contribution to those relief efforts.
- BP contributed 13 18-wheeler trucks of emergency response supplies (generators, water and other items) to the Salvation Army. In addition, BP provided fuel for emergency response in New York, as well as to ConEd, Verizon and United Water, the northern New Jersey water utility, for emergency operations.
- The Bayway refinery’s benevolence program provided bags of blankets, pillows, hats, gloves and clothing in Linden, N.J. Bayway also donated more than 10,000 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel to the Union County (N.J.) Office of Emergency Management, which provided fuel to hospitals, fire and police departments.
- Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada coordinated with FEMA and the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send pumps and generators.
- LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port), which receives and stores imported and domestic crude oil, and the LOCAP pipeline it operates, released approximately 12 megawatts’ worth of generators for use in Sandy’s aftermath.
- API state offices facilitated state agencies in gaining access and waivers for fuel types that normally would be restricted, as well as waivers to let companies bring in generators from around the country to help power pipelines.
Other responses included work by companies to clear routes to fuel terminals that were obstructed by storm damage, as well as work to restore power to affected area refineries. Motiva employees, working with the U.S. Coast Guard, reacted quickly to a storm-related heating oil spill in the waterway separating Staten Island and New Jersey, earning praise from state officials for averting a more serious environmental event.
On an anecdotal level there probably wasn’t a better story than the account of employees at the West River Street Exxon in Rumson, N.J., who hand-pumped fuel from underground storage tanks while the station was without power. NJ.com had the story, published Nov. 4, here. Below is a photo that ran with the piece:
NJ.com, quoting station owner Richie Dodd:
“I got two pumps from a horse farm out in Colts Neck,” said Dodd, 72, of Middletown. “We’ve got to do this for the people. They need help. People have been blown away by all of this. They’ve been coming here from all over. So we’re making our living here the old-fashioned way. You’ve got to earn it, baby.”