Home > Special Report

EIA Report on Hurricane Impacts on U.S. Energy 

 As of Friday, September 19, 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 19, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that nearly 1.2 million barrels per day (or under 90 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 19, the Department of Energy reported that there are 10 refineries in Texas and Louisiana that are shut down ahead of Hurricane Ike.  These 10 refineries have a total capacity of 2.4 million barrels per day (about 13 percent of U.S. operable capacity), and represent over 800,000 million barrels per day of gasoline output (about 9 percent of U.S. gasoline demand in September) and nearly 600,000 barrels per day of distillate fuel output (nearly 14 percent of U.S. demand in September), based on recent historical data.  So far, since refineries first shut down before Hurricane Gustav, over 36 million barrels of products have not been produced, including nearly 17 million barrels of gasoline and nearly 12 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 19, 7 refineries were running at a reduced rate.  As of September 19, 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 19, oil prices remained well below pre-Hurricane Gustav levels.  Compared to prices before Hurricane Gustav, crude oil for October delivery was about $11 per barrel lower, while gasoline (RBOB) and heating oil were about 25 cents and 29 cents per gallon lower, respectively. 

Natural Gas
As of 12:30 pm EDT (11:30 am CDT), September 19, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that nearly 5.6 billion cubic feet per day (or about 75 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 19, multiple natural gas pipeline systems’ previously declared force majeures’ remain in effect. Pipelines, producers, and processing plant operators continue to investigate the impacts to their facilities from the storms. Restricted access to roads as a result of flooding has delayed many operators on returning the appropriate amount of crews to complete assessments and repairs to their facilities at this time. As of 5:00 pm EDT September 18, the Sabine Pipe Line reports that additional points along its system are accepting gas flow. In addition, partial compression has been restored at the Henry Hub complex; however, Sabine Pipe Line will be closely monitoring its system if compression exceeds the pipelines capabilities.

As of 8:00 AM EDT, September 19, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has confirmed that 9 plants remain shut down which includes those plants still impacted from Gustav, totaling an operating capacity of 5.23 billion cubic feet per day (approximately 30 percent of the capacity in Hurricane Ike’s path). In addition, EIA reports that 19 plants have resumed operations at reduced or normal levels totaling 7.20 billion cubic feet per day operating capacity and 10 plants are capable to restart totaling 5.03 billion cubic feet per day operating capacity once power is restored and/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 18, 2008 Report
September 17, 2008 Report
September 16, 2008 Report
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