Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The governor of Oklahoma said she was sending rescue teams to help with Tropical Storm Harvey response efforts in neighboring shale-rich Texas.
Harvey is moving slowly northeast and dumping torrential rains on parts of the southern U.S. coast, an area that's central to the U.S. energy sector. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., said the storm is expected to drop as much as a foot of rain on the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana through Friday. Parts of the Houston metropolitan area could see as much as 5 feet of rain.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she dispatched rescue teams to southern Texas to assist with the response efforts. Tens of thousands of people may be displaced by the storm.
"Oklahoma and Texas have a friendly rivalry, but we are neighbors and when disaster strikes we focus on a spirit of cooperation by offering a helping hand," she said in a statement.
Oklahoma is home to about 4 percent of the total petroleum reserves in the country and accounts for as much as 5 percent of the total crude oil production in the United States. Texas, meanwhile, is the No. 1 oil producing state and its Eagle Ford shale basin, which accounts for about 10 percent of total U.S. oil production, is directly in Harvey's path.
Energy and other companies with offices in Houston closed down shop in response to Harvey. The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state energy regulator, said it was managing its response from district offices in Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
"As a reminder, oil and gas operators are required to report to the commission any spills into water," Commission Chairperson Christi Craddick said in a statement.
So far, there are no reports of obvious sheen or pipeline damage from the storm.
Exxon Mobil shut down its refinery in Baytown, Texas, earlier this week. It's the second-largest complex of its kind in the country and suffered damage the company said could result in the release of chemicals into the air. As of late Monday, about 2.2 million barrels per day of Texas refining capacity was down because of Harvey. That represents about 12 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity.
Most of the installations in the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for about 20 percent of total U.S. production, have returned to service. British energy company BP said its offices in Houston were closed, but its chemical plant there was operating as normal.