The first major storm of the 2017 season has been sighted and it is inbound on the Gulf Coast and parts of the southern United States. This seemingly inevitable storm may have a notable impact on oil and gas operations in several states when it makes landfall later in the week.
The Potential Impact of Tropical Storm Cindy
The National Hurricane Center (NHS) is paying close attention to Tropical Storm Cindy. The gathering storm is located about 230 miles south of Louisiana and morning in a northwestern direction.
The good news is that Tropical Storm Cindy isn’t expected to pick up speed and transition into a hurricane. That being said, the storm is producing winds of 60 miles per hour. Cindy is moving slowly along its path which means that any area it hits is going to be suffering from severe storms for an extended period of time.
The high wind speed and slow rate of movement means that Tropical Storm Cindy could cause serious damage to homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast.
The Oil and Gas Industry Braces For Cindy’s Arrival
The United States’ thriving Gulf Coast oil and gas industry is anticipating some trouble from Cindy and they’ve taken steps to help prevent serious disaster. Shipping activity in the region has already been effected by Tropical Storm Cindy.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port has suspended offloading operations at its marine terminal. LOOP is the United States’ third most active import terminal for crude. In the first five months of 2017, it has imported more than half a million barrels of crude.
In addition, several smaller operations such as maintenance on the Okeanos Gas Gathering Pipeline have been delayed in anticipation of Cindy’s arrival on United States shores.
Another Season of Wait and See
It’s entirely possible that Tropical Storm Cindy could change course and not impact any oil and gas operations, but that doesn’t seem likely. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has already declared a state of emergency, and Louisiana is expecting nearly a foot of rain. Flash-flooding is expected throughout southeast Texas, as well.
Anyone in the oil and gas industry knows that terrain is highly populated with projects of every kind. As the experts get ready for another season of unpredictable tropical storms and hurricanes, the United States can only hope that their existing measures will be enough to withstand the onslaught of Mother Nature for one more year.