Freak weather patterns have turned Tropical Storm Harvey into one of the most destructive storms in the history of the United States. People have been left homeless, thousands of gallons of water have been dumped across 44 counties in Texas, and the state’s oil and gas industry has been stopped in its tracks. What’s worse, the National Weather Service predicts that Harvey might gain renewed strength as it drifts back out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Initially classified a Category 4 hurricane as it made landfall on Friday afternoon, Hurricane Harvey has since been downgraded to Tropical Storm Harvey. That doesn’t seem to have diminished the already tangible impact on the people of Texas. It’s not over, either. Harvey’s long term effects could be felt by the whole of the world.
Texas Oil and Gas Shuts Down
A battle between two high-pressure weather systems kept Harvey pinned in place above Corpus Christie. As the city was smashed with 130-mile-an-hour winds and buckets of rain, one of the oil and gas industry’s most important and vulnerable ports was at a standstill.
While Harvey appears to be moving away from Corpus Christie the state of Texas and its thriving oil and gas industry are still in dire straits.
The Houston area has already seen record-breaking water levels, and it’s due to continue getting bombarded for the next several days. That’s a problem, because one-third of the United States’ refineries are located on the shoreline nearby. Eleven percent of them have already been incapacitated. Persistent, damaging rainfall in the Houston area could cause more serious problems with the refineries there.
The World Will Feel the Effects of Harvey
The next few days will decide the fate of the nation’s energy industry for the next several months to come. The damage done by Tropical Storm Harvey has already exceeded predictions, and the tropical storm is expected to get worse before it gets better. The oil and natural gas that’s in such high demand around the world has stopped pumping and future is sure to take a hit as crews work to fix any damage.
In the coming weeks, expect gas prices to rise by as much as twenty-five cents at the pump. Our place as the world’s largest exporter of fuel could also put a squeeze on the worldwide supply.