Hurricane Nate Shuts Off 90% of US Gulf Oil Output, Has a Short-Lived Impact
Nate, the fourth major storm to strike the US in less than two months, caused extensive damage and at least 30 deaths in Central America before entering the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, shutting in over 1.62M b/d of oil, representing 92.6% of the total US offshore oil output in the Gulf of Mexico, Reuters reports. Operations were temporarily terminated in over 290 platforms and 14 rigs. On Sunday, Nate made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, the first hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Nate has since weakened into a tropical storm before continuing its path to the east through states such as Alabama and Georgia where it was further downgraded into a tropical depression on Sunday night.
As of Monday morning, there was no significant damage caused by Nate in the region and no storm-related deaths or injuries had been reported, while the majority of power outages were restored within hours, newswires report. Meanwhile, many of the oil production platforms that were shut off on Thursday in advance of Nate have been planning reopenings, including Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell which began to redeploy personnel on Sunday at the facilities they operate, while according to the president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC, there was minor damage to refineries in the region including Phillips 66’s 247,000 b/d Alliance and Chevron’s 340,000 b/d Pascagoula refineries which remained intact. Furthermore, all inbound and outbound traffic along the Mississippi River has been resumed after several US Gulf ports including the large ports of New Orleans and Mobile Port in Alabama closed on Saturday ahead of the storm.