2020 Hurricane Season Curtailed Over 40 Million bbl of GOM Oil Manufacturing

2020 Hurricane Season Curtailed Over 40 Million bbl of GOM Oil Production

Guest "I Hate Hurricanes" by David Middleton

2008 was almost the worst year in history. We had the financial collapse, the start of the "Great Recession", the coronation of Barrack Hussein Obama and worst of all … Hurricanes Gustav & Ike.

Gustav and Ike, especially Ike, dropped oil production in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) almost to the Dean Wormer Line (zero-zero). While 2020 wasn't as bad as 2008 or 2005, it was bad.

Illustration 1. Source: US Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

NOVEMBER 18, 2020
The Gulf of Mexico saw the largest decline in crude oil production since 2008 in August

In August 2020, the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM) saw the largest monthly decline in crude oil production since September 2008, declining 453,000 barrels per day (b / d), or 27%. The production of crude oil in the GOM amounted to 1.2 million b / d in August 2020. This is the lowest production rate in almost seven years. The regional decline in production resulted from the path of hurricanes Laura and Marco at the end of August.

Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Marco, which came through the GOM one after the other, caused shutdowns (i.e. not in service) from August 22, 2020 and prompted operators to reduce power for 15 days. Hurricane Marco (the weaker of the two storms) came through first and landed on August 24th, affecting the extent and timing of the shutdowns by Hurricane Laura.

Three days later, Hurricane Laura (the tenth strongest US hurricane measured by wind speed) landed on August 27th. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Protection (BSEE) estimates that there are 14.4 million barrels of crude oil. Production was cut in 15 days due to the storms. BSEE estimates that approximately 84% of GOM crude oil production stopped due to crew evacuations at the height of the disruption.

In 2020 so far five hurricanes and one tropical depression have disrupted crude oil production in the GOM. Hurricane Zeta was the most recent storm in the GOM and caused production restrictions until November 4, 2020. To date, 30 named storms have formed in the Atlantic, surpassing the 28 storms of 2005, and the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season reached the most active on the record.

In the November 2020 short-term energy outlook, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the production of crude oil in the GOM averaged 1.73 million barrels per day (b / d) and 1.29 million b / d in September in the year October declined because of the hurricanes Delta and Zeta. The EIA expects that crude oil production in the GOM will recover to almost 1.92 million b / d by December 2020 and to an average of 1.71 million b / d in 2020.

Main responsible: Emily Geary, Kirby Lawrence


When it comes to oil and gas exploration, hurricanes cause significant damage, even if they cause little or no physical damage, and the damage starts before it hits. Preparations for the closure of production and evacuation of manned production facilities must typically begin 2-7 days before the effects of the storm reach the platform. Approximately 42 million barrels (bbl) of crude oil production were constrained (delayed) in 2020 by six named storms. This corresponds to a loss of production of around 22 days at 1.9 million bbl / d.

Figure 2. Source: US Energy Information Administration, based on the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

Of course, much worse things can happen in GOM oil production. Super Storm Obama cut about 500,000 barrels a day from 2011 to 2013.

Figure 3. Damage from Superstorm Obama.

If the recounts and legal challenges don't change the apparent outcome of the 2020 presidential election, mega-Apocalypse-Ginormous-Super Storm Obiden could do even more damage.

Figure 4. A Biden ban on “new oil and gas permits for public land and water” would cut GOM oil production in half by 2028 and cut it by almost 80% by 2040. (NOIA)

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