Sixth District Energy Updates: Hurricane Gustav

September 9, 2008

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Research Department produces updates on the impact of recent tropical cyclone activity on the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal area's energy sector. These reports are developed from a variety of publicly available resources and are updated as events dictate.

photo of power lines
•  In Louisiana yesterday morning, 12 percent of customers remained without power.

photo of a man pumping gas
Production and Refining
•  Energy companies began shutting in production and evacuating offshore personnel on Monday amid worries that a hurricane could once again threaten Gulf of Mexico oil facilities.  Even though forecasts now show that Hurricane Ike is likely to miss most of the Gulf’s offshore energy facilities, precautionary shut-ins could keep U.S. oil and gas production closed until mid-September.
As of 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, about one million barrels per day (or nearly 80 percent) of the federal portion of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude oil production and 60 percent of natural gas production remained shut in after Hurricane Gustav.
Energy inventories will likely take a hit from the successive threats posed by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in two consecutive weeks.
The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that 10 of the 14 Gulf refineries that were shut down on Sept. 1 have now restarted.

photo of a shipping port
Ports and Pipelines
•  The DOE was reporting that major pipelines in the Gulf were back online and running at either normal or reduced rates.
Port Fourchon has opened for vessels with drafts of up to 20 feet (includes most vessels).  Coast Guard restrictions on passage in and out of the port could strengthen if Ike moves closer to the Louisiana coastline.
Along with Port Fourchon, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port has been relying on generator power and operating at reduced capacity.