Hurricane recovery: What refiners face and how long it might take

Ten days after Katrina raked the Gulf, experts say it’s clear that it will take six weeks to two months before a number of plants are able to restore operations. They add that for a select few refineries, it could even take four to six months before operations reach pre-Katrina levels.

The restoration of absolutely critical infrastructure and support systems–including running water, electrical power, and sewer systems outside the refinery fence- – is still tied to an unknown future date.

Workforce issues are also a problem, with some refiners unable to field enough personnel due to the widespread destruction of housing.