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Harvey continues to wreak havoc

Written by  Monday, 28 August 2017 05:06

Tropical storm Harvey continues to wreak havoc in North America after bringing much of Houston to a halt following torrential rain over the weekend, leading to record "catastrophic" flooding. 

Transport across the city, a key hub for the oil industry, has been halted by floodwaters, due to more than 30in of rain falling on the city in some areas, with up to 50in expected in areas, according to Bloomberg. The city's George R. Brown Convention Center has been opened to those forced out of their homes. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, public transport was halted and schools will shut for a week, says Bloomberg. 

Harvey is being described as the strongest storm to hit the US since 2004. This morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the flooding was "catastrophic and life threatening." NOAA says, on the forecast track, the center of Harvey is forecast to move off the middle Texas coast this morning, and remain just offshore through Tuesday.

Many oil firms have shut their offices today, including Baker Hughes, a GE company, ConocoPhillips, which tweeted today that its offices would be shut today and tomorrow. Refineries are also being shut-in.

Operators in the Gulf of Mexico had started to evacuate offshore failities mid-week, before the storm hit. By Sunday, personnel had been evacuated from 105 production platforms, amounting to 14.25% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). 

Personnel had also been evacuated from five rigs (non-dynamically positioned, or DP), equivalent to 50% of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating. One DP rig, out of 21 operating in the Gulf, had moved off location as a precaution, said BSEE yesterday. A further update is expected at 1pm CDT today.

According to operator reports, it is estimated that about 21.64% of the current oil production of 1.75 MMbbl b/d in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, equating to 378,633 b/d. It is also estimated that approximately 25.71%, or 827.89 MMcf/d of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

Image: NOAA rainfall forecast, for 28 August through 4 September.

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2018-08-21 04:10:18am