Gulf/Louisiana Oil Infrastructure Sitrep

This is on the excellent website.

1. Oil refineries on Gulf Coast are shut-in (they go from Pascagoula, MS over to New Orleans (Norco, La). Three maybe flooded and there is no power to any of them. Norco, La is just West of Metarie (New Orleans, La) but is on higher ground at 15 feet but roads vulnerable to flooding.

2. Two other major refineries in Baton Rouge and Memphis are not receiving enough oil to meet capacity.

3. The majority oil workers in New Orleans over to Biloxi were probably evacuated and many have no homes left.

4. Louisiana State Road #1 to Port Fourchon may be flooded and may no longer be able to take the weight of heavy trucks as the ground is too saturated (only major way to resupply offshore industry every day). There were already problems with the road prior to Katrina. Normally about 800 - 1000 semis per day come down this road to supply offshore oil industry but Port Fourchon is probably heavily damaged from surge which wiped out Grand Isle.

5. About 650 offshore platforms have been shut-in and many may be heavily damaged (some are probably completely gone). The engineering design wave for the older legacy platforms was 35-feet and not the 50+ foot waves recorded by buoys South of Port Fourchon. This means the majority of production facilities (piping, tanks, quarters, controls/alarms) were hit by waves that exceeded design spec. This may have caused excessive platform lateral displacement which impacts (stretches) the conductor piping from the wellhead as well moving the interconnect piping. In other cases, it can cause the transport piping along the bottom seabed to either push-up against the platform threatening major oil leaks or pull away from the platform. Fortunately, steel piping can be stretched with our major damage but this needs to be carefully assessed on a platform by platform basis.

6. Thousands of miles of pipelines may have moved by the water surge and extensive pressure checks and "pigging-out" the lines will be required. This is time consuming operation to recertify the piping. Flanged piping connections may be damaged and bolts broken and some cases sand intrusion may have occurred with piping valve seals/connections.

7. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP LLC) offloads crude oil from supertankers around the world and pumps it into underground storage in salt dome caverns, and delivers it to refineries throughout much of the southern and mid-western US. LOOP's facilities consists of a Marine Terminal located in Gulf of Mexico 18 miles off the coast of Southeast Louisiana (where 40+ waves and surge occurred), a booster pump station located just inland near Port Fourchon, LA, and the Clovelly Dome Storage Terminal located about 25 miles inland near Galliano, LA. The Marine Terminal consists of two connected platforms in deep water to unload VLCC (very large crude carriers) and ULCC (ultra large crude carrier) which can be moored at one of three Marine Terminal single point moorings. Up to four 6600-hp pumps offload the crude into a 48-inch diameter pipeline that runs 45 miles thru the Fourchon Booster Station to the Clovelly Dome Storage (salt domes). The offshore pipeline is covered in concrete and buried. It was designed by a company I worked for in Gretna, LA in the 1970s in conjunction with the Strategic Oil Reserve at Clovelly, LA. LOOP transfers the oil to the Clovelly storage domes (which provide a big surge capacity for oil storage/transport from Clovelly but Clovelly cannot pump to the Louisiana/Mississippi refineries since they are currently out of business. The LOOP Marine Terminal was also subject to high waves but the platform designs are adequate to withstand these waves but there maybe issues with pumping station yet as there is no power. Is the single point mooring system still in position (no mention yet)? Therefore, where is the Strategic Oil Reserve at Clovelly going at this point - not any significant refining capacity and no mention as to whether the Booster Pump Station at Clovelly is flooded or not?

8. ExxonMobil/PDVSA's 187,000 b/d Chalmette refinery in east New Orleans was probably close to the eyewall and is in an area of extensive flooding and no power.

9. Chevron's 325,000 b/d refinery in Pascagoula, MS was on the wrong side of the surge (30+ feet) and Pascagoula homes are destroyed. The area is flooded and no power.

10. Valero Energy's 190,000 b/d St Charles refinery is in an area where flooding and damage has occurred (west of New Orleans) and there is no power. There is/was flood water in fluid catalytic cracking unit. Valero expects to be online within two weeks!?

11. Motiva Enterprise's 242,000 b/d Norco refinery is without power and in partially flooded area just west of Metarie,LA.

12. ConocoPhillips 250,000 b/d Alliance refinery in Belle Chase, La is in an extensively flooded and low area (South of New Orleans). It maybe an island in the Sun.

13. Murphy's Oil's Meraux plant is in flooded area but may have escaped serious damage. However, there is no power and unclear about roads left leading to refinery.

Where is the future infrastructure to support these refineries coming from? They may have to become self-contained operating units with numerous issues to resolve. Should we provide high levees to protect these assets in the future as well as hardened power transmission lines. Workers may need to live on-site in the future.

"QUICK LOOK REPORT #9: Gasoline Delivery System" by Dr. Stephen Rinehart
September 1, 2005
The Chinese will be rubbing their hands together in glee. They already have a presence in the area, and I suspect that when tenders are invited by the US, for the reconstruction and operation of gas/oil platforms and infrastructure, the Chinese will undercut all competion.
The date at which the PRC overtake the US as the dominant global superpower has just been pushed 10 - 15 years closer.
...Katrina slashed through what is estimated to be 35% of America's oil production and 20% of its natural gas. The US coast guard has said that at least 20 oilrigs and platforms were missing in the Gulf, either sunk or adrift. While apparently damage to the main offshore port known as the LOOP is minimal it has nonetheless been shut down. The LOOP is America's largest import terminal and handles 11% of US imports. Numerous pipelines have been damaged so the ability to transport anything assuming that others were operable has been severely constrained.

Finally the refineries in the area have been severely impacted and according to articles out of 14 refineries in the area only one is operable and one other reduced (sic) the (sic)remainder are either shut down, suffered loss of supply, water damage and the remainder are bareley functioning. Refineries in the area represent at least 10% of the US's refinery capacity."

"Oil Crunch!" by David Chapman. 2 September 2005
Given the amount of oil infrastructure and investment in the Gulf area, is it wise to be closing Naval Stations Inglesidem and Pascagoula?
According to the latest data from the federal Minerals Management Service, a whopping 1.39 million barrels of oil per day, or 93%, of the Gulf of Mexico's oil production remains shut from the storms.

That's about 24% of the nation's domestic oil production. And while the numbers point to a drop from the 98% shut down on Friday, recovery is progressing at a painfully slow pace.

"Oil, gas output still hobbled by storms: Gulf operators struggle as energy prices soar" by Jim Jelter. 3 October 2005}&siteid=aolpf
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the biggest oil producer in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico's deep waters, said output from the Mars field and nearby sites may be shut for the rest of the year because of damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Resuming production from the Mars, Ursa, Mensa and Cognac areas in the Gulf, which account for about 40 percent of its normal supply in the area, may not be ``feasible during the fourth quarter, depending on options available for recovery,'' according to a statement today from the company, based in The Hague.

"Shell's Mars Field, Nearby Rigs May Be Shut Till 2006 (Update3)" 9 September 2005

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