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EIA Report on Hurricane Impacts on U.S. Energy 

 As of Tuesday, September 24, 4:00 pm        

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 24, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that over 800,000 barrels per day (or about 63 percent) of the federal portion of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude oil production was shut-in.  As of 10:00 am EDT (9:00 am CDT), September 24, the Department of Energy reported that there are 5 refineries in Texas and Louisiana that are shut down due to Hurricane Ike.  These 5 refineries have a total capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day (about 7 percent of U.S. operable capacity), and represent about 500,000 barrels per day of gasoline output (about 5 percent of U.S. gasoline demand in September) and over 300,000 barrels per day of distillate fuel output (nearly 8 percent of U.S. demand in September), based on recent historical data.  So far, since refineries first shut down before Hurricane Gustav, nearly 44 million barrels of products have not been produced, including about 20 million barrels of gasoline and nearly 14 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 24, 8 refineries were running at a reduced rate.  As of September 24, 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.

It takes several days for a refinery to get back to normal operation after first getting power restored, even if there is no significant damage following a hurricane.  Refined product supplies are still constrained in portions of the country because of refining capacity that is still significantly reduced from pre-hurricane levels, as noted above.  As refineries return to full production, supplies will increase into pipelines, thus providing more supplies to those that have seen constraints in the supply system.  But it could take several days or even a couple of weeks before the distribution system, from refineries to retail stations, is once again at pre-hurricane operation levels.

Natural Gas
As of 12:30 pm EDT (11:30 am CDT), September 24, the Minerals Management Service was reporting that over 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (or about 57 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 10:15 am EDT September 24, nine of the 26 major natural gas pipelines in the Gulf Coast area continue to report complete shut-in of their systems. The remaining pipelines report that portions of their systems remain at reduced levels of gas flow as a result of Hurricane Ike. Damage assessments continue to be performed both on onshore and offshore facilities. The pipelines continue to provide updates to their customers on those points along the systems that were impacted and are now approved to flow gas.

There are 39 major natural gas processing plants in the path of Hurricane Ike with a total operating capacity of 17.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).  As of 10:30 am EDT September 24, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has confirmed that 7 plants remain shut down which includes those plants still impacted from Gustav, totaling an operating capacity of 4.68 Bcf/d (26 percent of the capacity in Hurricane Ike’s path). In addition, 24 plants have resumed operations at reduced or normal levels with a total operating capacity of 9.20 billion cubic feet per day. Seven plants are capable to restart (totaling 3.59 Bcf/d of operating capacity) after power is restored and/or upstream gas flow and downstream capacity are sufficient.

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 23, 2008 Report
September 22, 2008 Report
September 19, 2008 Report
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