Oklahoma NGL Processing Plant Hit by Tornado

Canton, OK, on Tuesday with one of the multiple twisters that ravaged Middle America this week. (image: abcnews.go.com)

One of the twisters ripping through Oklahoma on Tuesday badly damaged a Devon Energy Corp. natural gas processing plant, interrupting production for what could be several months, the Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Despite the property damage, Devon employees counted themselves lucky, as no one was hurt at the facility. Workers were forewarned and camped out in an on-site storm shelter. However, swarms of tornados have killed at least 125 people across four states this week, with countless more still missing.

“Our preliminary assessment indicates that it could take up to three months to repair the plant and fully restore production,” said Dave Hager, Devon Energy’s executive vice-president of exploration and production. During that time, the Oklahoma City company’s output will drop by 2,000 barrels of natural gas liquids per day.

NGLs (including propane) are a byproduct of processing natural gas, and production affects the propane market. Last month at this time, production of NGLs hit an all-time high and has been consistently high ever since. Three months might sound like a lot, but Hager estimated the impact on Devon’s full-year production will be less than 0.5%.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Missouri this weekend to meet with tornado survivors.