Houston Long Weekend Update (in progress)

Just checking in. Looks like you guys had an active and wide ranging discussion yesterday.

If you think Katrina/ Rita had no lasting impact check out this link

Katrina: 100 damaged
Rita: 87 damaged
Of the pipelines damaged, a vast majority were natural gas lines and just over a third were the large diameter (10" or larger) lines which commonly tie in multiple production areas.

Katrina 46 destroyed, 20 damaged
Rita 69 destroyed; 32 damaged
Many of these were not rebuilt but some production was tied back to other facilities.

This assessment doesn't take into account the gas processing facilities that were utterly scraped off the map as a friend of mine from Williams pointed out to me this morning.

GOMEX Federal water production: Bcfgpd (in billion cubic feet per day)
May 2005: 10.5
October 2005: 4.5 (I don't call getting cut in half all that resilient but heck, I just write here)
May 2007: 7.7 (or being down 25% since then very resilient either)

Anyway, it make me laugh when I see some comments that our gas infrastructure was so resilient that the storms had little last impact because injections before during and after were little changed. I've said it before in comments but let's be clear, demand fell too for a short time. A lot of people, who consume gas-fired power, had no lights at the time. Demand recovered by December and by this time higher production from higher cost onshore gas sources, primarily but not limited to the Barnett Shale, had helped take up the GOMEX' production shortfall. I'd graph it but I don't have Excel on my mobile. Anyway, of course there's a fear factor in there but if we get hit again, don't think the shale will make up for it or that another warm winter is necessarily going to send storage to even higher record levels.

Here's a link to the MMS page showing the hit volumes in the Gulf took and how they never fully recovered.

Here's Wilma's track, a Cat 5 from near the end of the 2005 season. It looked very similar to Dean in track and angle of approach on the Yucatan. Then, as you can see here, Wilma did a touch and go off the tip of Cancun, then headed due north-east to Florida before running up the eastern seaboard. Just food for thought.

~Unisys weather database

One Response to “Houston Long Weekend Update (in progress)”

  1. 1
    Nicky Says:

    Sun Aug 19, 8:03 AM ET

    HOUSTON (Reuters) – Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas producers were evacuating offshore workers and shutting small amounts of production on Saturday as they watched powerful Hurricane Dean storm across the Caribbean Sea toward an entry into the Gulf next week.

    Forecasts and computer models point Dean away from the paths taken by 2005’s devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita through offshore oil production areas and onshore refining centers.

    Taking a lesson from Katrina, which defied forecasts showing it would confine its damage to Florida, companies with operations from the central to western Gulf continued pulling support workers who were not essential to keeping offshore production running.

    The U.S. Minerals Management Service said on Saturday that 10,300 barrels per day out of 1.3 million bpd in Gulf of Mexico oil production was shut in due to the threat of Hurricane Dean.

    About 16 million cubic feet out of 7.7 billion cubic feet of daily natural gas output in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut, said the agency, which oversees offshore energy production.

    So far, one production platform and two drilling rigs have been evacuated due to the storm.

    Oil majors Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), Shell Oil Co. (RDSa.L) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N) said they were evacuating workers on Saturday.

    Exxon said production was not cut on Saturday as it pulled non-essential workers from the Gulf.

    Shell said 300 more support workers were being taken from the Gulf Saturday.

    “Since the beginning of the week, Shell has evacuated approximately 460 people,” the company said in a statement. “Evacuations are expected to continue through the weekend.”

    Shell has shut in daily production of 10,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas, the company said.

    ConocoPhillips was evacuating non-essential workers from the Magnolia platform on Saturday ahead of a possible shutdown on Monday, the company said in a statement.

    Offshore production and well operations were unaffected by the evacuations, Conoco said.

    Conoco did not expect Dean to affect onshore production in southeast Louisiana. The Magnolia platform is about 165 miles

    south of the central Louisiana coast and can handle 50,000 bpd in oil and 150,000 cubic feet of daily natural gas output.

    Leading driller Transocean Inc. (RIG.N) said staff on its drilling rigs had been reduced by about 360 people in the last two days.

    Two of the company’s rigs in the western Gulf were to be evacuated by Monday, Transocean said.

    BP Plc (BP.L) planned to take workers from offshore platforms throughout the weekend, the company said on Friday.

    Murphy Oil Co (MUR.N) also said on Friday workers were being evacuated.

    Non-essential workers are taken first to ensure there is room for workers essential to production aboard helicopters flying from the U.S. coast when it becomes necessary to close to valves so the wells stop producing.

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