Oil and Gas Disruption From Hurricanes Katrina and Rita [October 21, 2005]   [open pdf - 56KB]

"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita shut down oil and gas production from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, the source for 25% of U.S. crude oil production and 20% of natural gas output. Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, resulted in the shutdown of most crude oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a great deal of refining capacity in Louisiana and Alabama, 554,000 barrels per day of which was still closed as of late October, 2005. Offshore oil and gas production was resuming when Hurricane Rita made landfall on September 24, and an additional 4.8 million barrels per day (mbd) of refining capacity in Texas and nearby Louisiana was closed. Combining the effects of both storms, 1.3 mbd of refining--about 8% of national capability--is shut down, reducing the supply of domestically refined fuels commensurately. Much of the refined product shortfall is currently being made up by imports of refined products, some of which were made available by strategic supplies released by International Energy Agency (IEA) member nations on September 2. It remains to be seen whether IEA will authorize a further release. As part of the IEA drawdown, 30 million barrels of crude oil were made available from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which holds only crude. Only 11 million barrels was sold from the SPR, in part because limited refinery capacity reduced the call on crude."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33124
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