Home > Special Report

EIA Report on Hurricane Impacts on U.S. Energy 

 As of Tuesday, September 16, 4:00 pm     See current        

U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Market Impacts

NYMEX Futures Prices
(for October delivery)

Pre-Gustav 8/29/2008 change Week Ago
Year Ago
  WTI Crude Oil ($/Bbl)
  Gasoline RBOB* (c/gal)
  Heating Oil (c/gal)
  Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
*RBOB = Reformulated Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending (RBOB), the base gasoline that needs to be blended with some type of oxygenate, now usually ethanol, to be turned into finished reformulated gasoline (RFG). Ethanol is not blended into the gasoline mixture until just before the gasoline is shipped to the retail stations.

As of 12:30 pm EDT (11:30 am CDT), September 16, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that nearly 1.3 million barrels per day (or about 95 percent) of the federal portion of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude oil production was shut-in.  As of 9:00 am EDT (8:00 am CDT), September 16, the Department of Energy reported that there are 12 refineries in Texas and Louisiana that are shut down ahead of Hurricane Ike.  These 12 refineries have a total capacity of 3.0 million barrels per day (about 17 percent of U.S. operable capacity), and represent about 1.1 million barrels per day of gasoline output (about 12 percent of U.S. gasoline demand in September) and over 700,000 barrels per day of distillate fuel output (about 18 percent of U.S. demand in September), based on recent historical data.  So far, since refineries first shut down before Hurricane Gustav, close to 30 million barrels of products have not been produced, including nearly 14 million barrels of gasoline and 10 million barrels of distillate fuel. This does not include reduced production from refineries that have reduced runs at various times during Hurricanes Gustav or Ike.  As of September 16, 9 refineries were running at a reduced rate.  As of September 15, the Colonial and Plantation product pipelines continue to operate at reduced rates.  Both of these are major product pipelines going from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.

As of the close of trading on September 16, oil prices remained well below pre-Hurricane Gustav levels.  Compared to prices before Hurricane Gustav, crude oil for October delivery was $24 per barrel lower, while gasoline (RBOB) and heating oil were about 45 cents and 47 cents per gallon lower, respectively.

Natural Gas
As of 12:30 pm EDT (11:30 am CDT), September 16, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that over 6.2 billion cubic feet per day (or well over 80 percent) of the federal portion of the Gulf of Mexico’s natural gas production was shut-in.  The Department of Energy (DOE) reported that as of 10:00 am EDT September 16, damage assessments by natural gas pipeline operators were well underway. Points that were in the path of Ike are for the most part reporting flood damage and lack of power. Some facilities still have standing water and it will likely take several weeks for repairs and clean up to be completed before these facilities can restart their operations.  There have been reports of minor damage to offshore facilities including pipeline breaches on several main and gathering lines. It is too early to generate a detailed damage repair schedule, but current estimates indicate that repairs should not take more than a few weeks to complete, weather permitting. The Independence Hub platform, located about 150 miles offshore Louisiana in Mississippi Canyon reported gas flow exceeding 700 million cubic feet on September 15, which is an increase of approximately 100 million cubic feet from the previous day. Sabine Pipe Line, LLC, announced that it will allow limited flows through the Henry Hub starting at 5:00 pm today (September 16). However, since compression at the Henry Hub complex remains unavailable, nominations with Henry Hub or Mainline receipt points will only be accepted if the gas can be received at sufficient pressure or the scheduled receipt and deliveries are equal.

As of 10:00 am EDT, September 15, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has confirmed that 23 gas processing plants remain shut down, which includes those plants still impacted from Gustav, totaling an operating capacity of 11.3 billion cubic feet per day, or almost 65 percent of the capacity in Hurricane Ike’s path. Thirteen of the 23 plants are located in Louisiana. In addition, EIA reports that 10 plants with a total of 4.3 billion cubic feet per day operating capacity have resumed operations at reduced or normal levels, and 5 plants with 1.9 billion cubic feet operating capacity are capable to restart once power is restored or upstream gas flow commences.

Also see:
Hurricane Situation Reports from DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability
STEO Hurricane Analysis (pdf)



Hurricane Ike’s Path
as of 0700 EDT, September 13, 2008
maps courtesy of iMapData and Pennwell

Gulf of Mexico Oil & Natural Gas Facts
Energy Information Administration
Gulf of Mexico
Total U.S.
% from
Gulf of Mexico
Oil (million barrels per day)
  Federal Offshore Crude Oil Production (4/08)
  Total Gulf Coast Region Refinery Capacity (as of 1/1/08) 
Natural Gas (billion cubic feet per day as of 2007)
  Federal Offshore Marketed Production
  State Offshore Marketed Production

State Energy Profiles

Hurricane Gustav & Ike
September 15, 2008 Report
September 14, 2008 Report
September 13, 2008 Report
September 12, 2008 Report
September 11, 2008 Report
September 10, 2008 Report
September 9, 2008 Report
September 8, 2008 Report
September 5, 2008 Report
September 4, 2008 Report
September 3, 2008 Report
September 2, 2008 Report
September 1, 2008 Report

Previous EIA Hurricane Reports