2020 Hurricane Season Curtailed Over 40 Million bbl of GOM Oil Production

Guest “I hate hurricanes” by David Middleton

2008 was just about the worst year in recorded history. We had the financial collapse, the start of the “Great Recession,” the coronation of Barrack Hussein Obama and worst of all… Hurricanes Gustav & Ike.

Gustav and Ike, particularly Ike, dropped Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil production nearly down to the Dean Wormer Line (zero-point-zero). While 2020 hasn’t been bad as 2008 or 2005, it’s been bad.

Figure 1. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

NOVEMBER 18, 2020
The Gulf of Mexico saw its largest decrease in crude oil production since 2008 in August

In August 2020, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM) saw its largest monthly decrease in production of crude oil since September 2008, dropping by 453,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 27%. Production of crude oil in the GOM totaled 1.2 million b/d in August 2020, which is its lowest production rate in nearly seven years. The regional drop in production resulted from the path of both Hurricanes Laura and Marco in late August.

Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Marco, which came through the GOM consecutively, caused shut-ins (in other words, not operating) starting on August 22, 2020, and led operators to reduce output for 15 days. Hurricane Marco (the weaker of the two storms) came through first, making landfall on August 24, which affected the magnitude and timing of shut-ins from Hurricane Laura.

Three days later, Hurricane Laura (the 10th-strongest U.S. hurricane on record, as determined by the speed of its winds) made landfall on August 27. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) estimates that 14.4 million barrels of crude oil production was curtailed over the course of 15 days because of the storms. BSEE estimates that about 84% of GOM crude oil production was shut in at the peak of the disruption as a result of crew evacuations.

In 2020, so far, five hurricanes and one tropical depression have caused disruptions to crude oil production in the GOM. Hurricane Zeta was the most recent storm to hit the GOM, and it caused production curtailments through November 4, 2020. To date, 30 named storms have formed in the Atlantic in 2020, surpassing the 28 storms of 2005 and making the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season the most active on record.

In the November 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the production of crude oil in the GOM averaged 1.73 million barrels per day (b/d) in September and fell to 1.29 million b/d in October because of Hurricanes Delta and Zeta. EIA expects crude oil production in the GOM to recover to nearly 1.92 million b/d by December 2020 and to average 1.71 million b/d in 2020.

Principal contributors: Emily Geary, Kirby Lawrence


When it comes to oil & gas production, hurricanes cause extensive damage even when they cause little, if any physical damage, and the damage starts before they arrive. Preparations to shut in production and evacuate manned production facilities generally have to commence 2-7 days before the effects of the storm reach the platform. Approximately 42 million barrels (bbl) of crude oil production was curtailed (delayed) by six named storms in 2020. This equates to about 22 days of lost production at 1.9 million bbl/d.

Figure 2. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

Of course much worse things can happen to GOM oil production. Super Storm Obama curtailed about 500,000 bbl/d from 2011-2013.

Figure 3. Superstorm Obama damage.

Unless the recounts and legal challenges alter the apparent outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Mega-Apocalypse-Ginormous-Super Storm Obiden could cause even more damage.

Figure 4. A Biden ban on “new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters” would cut GOM oil production in half by 2028 and by nearly 80% by 2040. (NOIA)

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Joel O'Bryan
November 18, 2020 6:25 pm

Obiden. LOL.

You definitely got that right David. Obama will be the Shadow President behind Dementia Joe moving his lips via the teleprompter. Hussein will be getting the 3rd term he couldn’t under the 22nd Amendment.
And when Dementia Joe’s senility can no longer be ignored by the Leftist media, Hussein is going to order Kammie to kick Ole’ Gaff-filled Dementia Joe to curb with the 25th Amendment and a letter to Congress telling them she’s taking over. I give it till about March, but it could be as late a June.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
November 18, 2020 6:35 pm

Being investors, Soros and Bloomberg bought themselves controlling interests in the DNC. Obama yearns to be a billionaire himself. He needs to keep suckling those billionaire teats for his personal political remunerations to get there.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 18, 2020 6:46 pm

And the best part for Hussein not holding any public office yet controlling the Oval Office, he can take all the pay-to-play access Graft money they want to throw at him. Perfectly legal.
And if Dementia Joe or Kammie refuse to play along, he’s got dossier wanting for them just like he played on Trump. He can call the biilionaire payments “advisory fees” on his tax returns.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 19, 2020 5:24 am


November 18, 2020 6:42 pm

A positive thought on all of this. If these bans come about, the resources will still be there. They’re not going to disappear and when the “sheeple” finally wake up and ditch these clowns, we all will benefit. Let’s hope it isn’t far away.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
November 18, 2020 7:46 pm

Under the Biden-Harris Plan, China will just do what Japan is doing with Australia’s Timor Sea natural gas resources. The GoM can be put into a production model like the Timor Sea gas production, where coastal infrastructure is non-existent along northwest Australia’s coastline.

Build one of the biggest floating production platform in the world. Lay hundreds of km’s of undersea pipe to a single refrigeration plant in Darwin. Then LNG tankers carry the liquid gold to Japan and Korea.

And Communist China looks on hungrily at all the 100 years+ of natural gas in the Timor, Java, Arafura Seas.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2020 4:15 am

Hunter, the gas energy expert, will help grease the skids for China.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2020 8:29 am

How far offshore does the oil and gas extend at its maximum, and how far does US economic exclusion zone extend? Probably both to the edge of the continental shelf but I thought I would ask anyway. Would be ironic (?) if Obiden gets the chance to block GoM oil for the US, so that China can conveniently bankroll a Mexican expansion right up to the border in the gulf. A la Clinton blocking development of lowest-sulfur coal in Wyoming so that a big Indonesian-Chinese contributor can benefit from his own low-sulfur coal mine in Indonesia.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 18, 2020 8:02 pm

Hadn’t considered that. Well maybe my great-grand children will benefit.
The insanity burns. Sigh…..

Reply to  eck
November 18, 2020 9:01 pm

See that they study Mandarin. Proper kowtowing is also appropriate, and can be learned from the NFL.

November 19, 2020 12:49 am

Not much good about hurricanes, but they do make for lots of work for the boats working in the GOM. We spent lot of time de-commissioning toppled platforms and doing inspections after Ike.
This year, weather delays have kept us working for weeks longer than originally planned.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2020 5:32 am

David the reason the damage was not as bad is that the goal posts for naming storms has drastically changed. Joe Bastardi Meteorologist at Weatherbell Analytics has the statistics. I recently got a copy of his new book—“The Weaponiztion of Weather in the Phony Climate War” and although not read it I am certain he addressed this issue.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 25, 2020 10:26 am

What was the old classification standard for a hurricane and when did the nutwings change it?

Joe Wagner
November 19, 2020 2:53 am

Just to be picky, Obama was coronated in 2009 technically

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2020 2:40 pm

Allegedly OBUMMER states in his new book he was surprised when he was notified he won the Nobel Peace Prize shortly after his Coronation……his comment was…. you ready for this …..
” FOR WHAT”!!!
As Dave Middleton would opine…..NOW THAT THERE IS FUNNY!!

HD Hoese
November 19, 2020 6:23 am

“The governor pointed out that four Louisiana companies helped build the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm — in Rhode Island — a project he would like to see done here as well, he said.”

Reply to  HD Hoese
November 19, 2020 7:17 am

I am not sure quoting an article about a Democrat Governor addressing a non-existent problem tells us much about oil being shut in or damage caused by hurricanes. Are you putting forth the idea that wind mills and solar panels won’t be harmed by hurricanes?

HD Hoese
Reply to  David Middleton
November 19, 2020 10:18 am

Even funnier–“The task force also has a non-voting member from a federal scientific agency, Dr. Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the USGS. Burkett is a former director of Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

I like the word “process” by Nyman, did some good work on marsh, trying to find out more about members. Wonder if governor flew over the coast after Katrina as I did? Texas has more wind, field N of Corpus Christi quiet this morning, was spared by Harvey wind field, just barely. Solar panels on a few buildings within wind field not so lucky, even flat but especially where put at an angle for the sun as on one marine lab, we predicted it, nearby palms did better. Can’t seem to stop building dumb!

November 19, 2020 8:06 am

Good news. There was a glut, right?

Reply to  bluecat57
November 20, 2020 4:50 pm

yes, you have to wonder what the actual overall concern is in these troubled times

November 20, 2020 12:49 am

Cyclones are the relief valve of the ocean’s thermostat.

With SST above 27C at latitudes higher than 10 degrees, the convective available potential energy that drives daily monsoon is able to spin up cyclones and enables them to intensify. They provide tremendous cooling to the ocean surface through their reflective power. Cyclone Isiais was the brightest spot on the planet on July 30.
It reflected 80% of TOA insolation while still releasing 180W/sq.m of OLR. End result was a net cooling of the surface by as much as 3 degrees centigrade below its path across the tropical Atlantic. Then dumped vast amounts of energy onto the US east coast in the form of water evaporated from the oceans and condensed by OLR radiated from about 230K. (Try to get MODTRAN to produce 180W/sq.m from a 300K ocean surface – shows how silly the “greenhouse effect” really is)

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