2018 hurricane season has less effect on oil, gas production

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 215 views 

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season produced 13 named storms as of Oct. 5, including six hurricanes, and the only storm to impact oil and natural gas production has been Tropical Storm Gordon, which entered the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 3, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On Sept. 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall on the East Coast and had no impact on production in the Gulf of Mexico.

A hurricane’s impact on crude oil and natural gas production partly depends on the infrastructure in its path, and in 2017, Category 1 Hurricane Nate had the largest impact on the production in the 2017 hurricane season. Category 4 Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf of Mexico but didn’t pass through major offshore production areas. Combined, Harvey and Nate reduced oil and natural gas production by 12 million barrels of crude oil and 18 billion cubic feet of natural gas. It was the first significant production reduction since Hurricane Isaac shut in 13.5 million barrels of crude oil and 32 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012.

In the Gulf of Mexico, 66% of crude oil and 42% of natural gas production comes from wells in the Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon lease areas, which are in southeast Louisiana. Hurricane Nate passed through the Mississippi Canyon offshore production area, made landfall at the mouth of the Mississippi River and reduced production by an average of 0.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Overall, the hurricane caused a production loss of 8.4 million barrels of crude oil and 11.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 18% and 15%, respectively, of total oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico in October.

Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005, and shut in about 0.2 million barrels per day of crude oil production and 0.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production. The cumulative production impact related to Harvey was the loss of 3 million barrels of crude oil and 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 6% and 7%, respectively, of total crude oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico in August.

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