Hurricanes: Key Links For Hurricane Impact On Gulf Coast Oil and Gas Infrastructure And Production

With oil up strongly this morning (WTI is up $1.47 to $71.27 at 7am MDT) driven in part by Tropical Storm Gordon, we thought it was timely to remind of the key information sources for hurricane impact on US Gulf Coast oil and gas infrastructure and production.   Tropical Storm Gordon is moving thru the eastern Gulf of Mexico and forecast to make landfall early Wed morning at a mix of Tropical Storm strength at New Orleans and Hurricane wind strength east of New Orleans.  [Hurricane strength starts at 74 mph].   We should note that, over the past 48 hours, Gordon’s path has shifted a little to the east of the major oil refineries.  But it is important to remember that the oil supply chain issues are not just from wind strength, but more often are caused by flooding and power shortages.

National Hurricane Center tracking map.  The starting point for almost all general reporting on hurricane strength are their regional maps tha identify hurricanes or tropical storms for the Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific [LINK].  By hitting the name on this general map, in this case Gordon [LINK], the key forecast map will show up that identifies wind speed, direction, and the strength of Gordon when it makes landfall.   The red line marks hurricane strength, and the blue line marks tropical storm strength.

Tropical Gordon Status As Of Tues Sept 4 at 7am CDT  


Source: National Hurricane Center

EIA’s real time mapping that shows energy infrastructure in the flight path.  The key hurricane tracking information for oil and gas investors should be the EIA’s “Energy Infrastructure with Real-time Storm Information” [LINK].   This is an excellent interactive mapping system.  It allows the user to pick any type of energy infrastructure (ie. offshore platforms, oil refineries, natural gas processing, pipelines, etc) and layer them on the projected Gordon flight path.  Plus it allow the user to zoom in or zoom out.   The EIA uses the National Hurricane Center tracking information, which means that its hurricane path information is likely a few hours delayed.   We just created the below map (630am MDT) and it is still based on the National Hurricane Center’s 4am CDT Gordon update and not the 7am CDT update pasted above.  It shows that Gordon is hitting east of most of the offshore oil wells and is making hurricane strength landfall (red line) east of New Orleans and also east of the major oil refineries in this region (noted by  on the map),

Tropical Storm Gordon – Energy Infrastructure with Real-time Storm Information  


Source: EIA

EIA’s excellent maps on refineries, ports, etc on the Gulf Coast.  A must add to reference libraries is the EIA brief on Feb 22, 2016 “Pipelines, tankers, and barges convey transportation fuels from Gulf Coast to East Coast[LINK], which has excellent maps and base information for refineries, ports etc for all areas of the US coast, in particular the Gulf Coast,.  It shows in detail the refineries and other key oil infrastructure.    Below we pasted the EiA’s Louisiana Gulf Coast map.

Louisiana Gulf Coast – Key Oil and Products Infrastructure  


Source: EIA

Shut in offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production data could start today.  We only started to hear reports this morning of offshore oil and gas platforms being shut down with the media reports that Anadarko shut down 2 platforms.  As noted in the earlier EIA tracking map, Gordon’s path isn’t expected to impact many offshore platforms.  As a result there have been no official government reporting of shut in production and platforms.  The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is the agency that will report on shut in oil and gas production and platforms on a daily basis during an event.  We just checked this morning and there is nothing yet reported for Gordon.  The BSEE press releases can be found at [LINK].

The key reference report if Gordon reaches hurricane strength will be from Dept of Energy.  The go to quick reference guide for any Gordon impact if it hits hurricane strength will be the US Dept of Energy’s situation report [LINK].  During any major event, the DOE publishes this report that recaps a hurricane ‘s impact in all oil and gas items, including production, refineries, pipeline volumes, etc.  There is no DOE report yet on Gordon, which is still only a tropical storm.