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Katrina Cripples 95% Of Gulf's Oil Production

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 1357 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... KATRINA CRIPPLES 95% OF GULF S OIL PRODUCTION By
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005
      NHNE News List
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      By Elliot Blair Smith
      USA Today
      August 31, 2005


      Fearing the worst, energy traders at the New York Mercantile Exchange bid up
      futures prices to records. "This is clearly the most panic I've seen," said
      Nymex trader Eric Bolling.

      Meanwhile, the sky above the Gulf of Mexico filled with private aircraft as
      oil and gas executives began to look at the damage.

      The gulf accounts for about 23% of the USA's domestic natural gas and 30% of
      its oil, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals
      Management Service.

      But the storm interrupted 95% of gulf oil production and 88% of the outer
      continental shelf's natural gas production, the agency said.

      Moreover, deliveries of foreign oil to the USA's largest offshore oil port,
      the Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform, have been suspended since Saturday,
      cutting off about 1 million barrels a day of crude.

      And Louisiana's Port Fourchon, which normally processes 18% of domestic oil
      and gas and 13% of U.S. energy imports, suffered extensive storm damage and
      is now inaccessible due to floodwaters, the Energy Department said.

      Energy experts said it could be weeks or months before production is fully
      restored because a shortage of crude supplies combined with widespread
      electricity outages also shut down most of the region's refineries and

      A big offshore rig supplier, Noble, said the storm blew one of its giant
      platforms 17 miles off its moorings.

      Another rig supplier, Rowan, said one of its rigs may have capsized and

      The Alabama Port Authority said another rig washed against a pier and a bulk
      material handling terminal at the Port of Mobile, causing some damage.

      In a touch-and-go rescue before the storm, ENSCO International said efforts
      to tow one of its deepwater rigs with several employees aboard about 120
      miles south of Louisiana ended when the towline snapped.

      Before the storm struck, a helicopter rescued the employees; the rig was
      recovered later, ENSCO spokesman Richard LeBlanc said.

      Swift Energy President Bruce Vincent said he would deploy small teams of
      employees, supported by barges with sleeping quarters and kitchens, to
      inspect and restart that company's offshore rigs.

      "The bigger issue is the people," Vincent said. "Many people who work
      offshore live in southeastern Louisiana, and their homes may have been
      affected (by the storm). They have to provide food, shelter and clothing for
      their families."

      Chevron spokesman Mickey Driver said, "It's safe to say the storm has been
      of catastrophic proportions. We don't know what (we'll) find when we look at
      our facilities. We will hope for the best."

      Colonial Pipeline, which normally delivers about 100 million gallons of
      gasoline and heating fuel a day on its 5,000-mile transmission line from
      Houston to New York, hopes to begin restoring service this weekend, says
      spokesman Steve Baker.

      Much of the pipeline has been shut down since Monday.

      "Getting Colonial back is going to be huge," said John Kingston, global
      director of oil at Platts.

      But Plantation Pipe Line spokesman Rick Rainey said electric power must
      first be restored before that company can restore shipments on its 3,100
      miles of pipeline from Baton Rouge to Washington, D.C.

      Says Rainey: "We have power and are receiving product from only one of the
      seven refineries that are operating in (the Gulf Coast) area."


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