As if this year wasn’t enough on its own, Texas and Louisiana’s coastlines received a surge of stormy winds as it grew into one of the worst recorded hurricanes in American history. The Gulf of Mexico had to be evacuated as oil and gas companies rushed to leave the offshore platforms and rigs. Refineries that came in the way of Hurricane Laura met the worst fate imaginable. However, some were saved because companies were already preparing for the predicted Storm Marco.
The recent storm had the strength to demolish “entire energy infrastructure,” noted the head of HIS Markit research for crude oil, Jim Burkhard. He commented on how integrated pipelines, refineries, and power supplies are; damage to one is damage to all.
COVID-19 and the Oil Industry
Since coronavirus decimated the oil demand and prices fell in early 2020, the industry was already hammered. American oil companies were battling tough competition from OPEC, which was aiming to monopolize.
Crude oil was selling for $43 a barrel and failing to thrive in such bad economic conditions, 60 oil and gas companies filed for bankruptcy this year.
To top it off, Hurricane Laura inflicted severe damage to offshore and onshore oil drilling facilities’ infrastructure and architecture. Here’s how offshore platforms and refineries took the blow.
Off-Shore Oil Rigs
Owing to the storm, oil producers had to take 1.6 million barrels of crude oil off the market. The sales significantly reduced because 84% of the region’s oil producers had to shut down, and operations had come to a standstill. Similarly, 61% of natural gas producers also halted their operations in the Gulf.
Since the risk level was high, there was nothing producers could do about it. Even though the suspension of operations was temporary, it’s predicted to impact the market supply of oil soon. Since the demand was already low, the oil shortage will put local producers in a major crisis.
A majority of America’s oil refineries are built along the Gulf of Mexico, which was also the storm’s prime location. The six main refineries have a combined capacity of producing 2.2 million barrels per day. Shutting these refineries down meant significantly losing business.
Even though the refineries are designed to resist rough elements, this storm was stronger than prior hurricanes and couldn’t be withstood that easily. After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the refining capacity of the nation suffered a lot. And that was a sufficient warning this time around.
There’s an economic lull after the storm because the damage is significant and needs immediate reimbursement for business to go back to normal. If you’re looking for premium industrial-grade drilling equipment to compensate for the losses at affordable pricing, check out our range of mud pressure gauges, custom cables, or clipper weight indicators.
Contact Instruments is a leading manufacturer of OEM instrumentation in Canada and has a production facility in Leduc, Alberta. We’re manufacturing and supplying drilling equipment for Canadian and American oil companies and assisting plants that have suffered after Hurricane Laura.
Check out our variety or call us at 780-955-8998 for more information.