This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 07, 2006

EIA Expects Storms to Impact Gulf Energy Production this Year

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicting an active tropical storm season in the Atlantic basin this year, the odds are good that there will be at least some disruption of oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new report from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA performed a statistical analysis of the impacts of past storms and compared it to the forecast to find that between 1.8 and 2.7 percent of annual Gulf crude oil and gas production is likely to be shut in due to hurricanes this season.

The EIA notes that the forecast carries a large amount of uncertainty, and shut-in production could easily exceed 6 percent if the producing region is struck by one or more significant hurricanes. The EIA also warns that NOAA could revise its tropical storm forecast upward in August, as it did last year. At the same time, the EIA advises that Gulf energy producers have stocked up on replacement parts, upgraded communication systems, and beefed up their platforms to better weather the storms. See the EIA report, "The Impact of Tropical Cyclones on Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production" (PDF 760 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

So far, this year's tropical storm season is quiet. According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Atlantic Ocean remains free of tropical storms. See the NHC Web site.