Sixth District Energy Updates: Hurricane Gustav

September 3, 2008

Preliminary reports indicate that damage caused by Hurricane Gustav appears to be minimal. Full reports on the extent of the damage will not be ready until later this week.

photo of power lines
Extensive damages to electricity transmission systems have been reported. In Louisiana, 49 percent of customers remained without power, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas as of 3 p.m. on September 2.
Electricity outages are preventing some refineries and pipelines from resuming operations.

photo of a man pumping gas
Oil and Gas Production
Despite indications that there was no significant damage to offshore platforms during Gustav, it will take several days before production is resumed. As of September 2, the Minerals Management Service reported 100 percent of crude production and more than 95 percent of natural gas remained shut in.
It will likely take two weeks before oil and natural gas production resumes at full capacity, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said Tuesday.

photo of an oil platform
Although a number of refineries remain shut down, early checks indicate that damage was limited.
Numerous refineries remain without power in the District, including ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge plant, the second-largest U.S. refinery.
Because the storm shut down key waterways and cut off refiners’ supply of oil, the Bush administration agreed to release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as requested by Citgo to allow operations to continue. ExxonMobil and Shell Oil refineries are still considering their options.
As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 13 refiners were shut down, totaling 2.5 million barrels per day of capacity. Ten refineries in the Gulf Coast region also reduced runs.

photo of a shipping port
Ports and Pipelines
According to the Department of Energy, most ports were still closed as of Tuesday afternoon.
Port Fourchon, the key terminal for tankers bringing imported oil to the United States, remained closed as of Sept. 3. The port experienced some flooding Monday morning. Damage assessments are currently underway.
The storm passed directly over the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which handles 10 percent of U.S. oil imports and is the only U.S. facility capable of offloading the largest oil tankers. According to LOOP personnel, the company is currently performing damage assessments.
The Capline and LoCap crude lines and Centennial pipeline remain shut down. The Colonial and Plantation pipelines, which supply the East Coast with refined products, are both operating at reduced rates.