Port Fourchon - major oil and gas hub - still in 'Recovery Phase' after a direct hit by Ida, causing gas prices to rise, U.S.

Port Fourchon - major oil and gas hub - still in 'Recovery Phase' after a direct hit by Ida, causing gas prices to rise, U.S.

Category 4 Hurricane "Ida" made a direct hit to Port Fourchon, the most important oil and gas hub in the Gulf of Mexico on August 29, 2021, causing extensive damage and putting the facility in 'Recovery Phase.' Ida's impacts to Port Fauchron included extreme and hurricane-force winds up to 240 km/h (150 mph) and a storm surge of 3.6 to 4.3 m (12 - 14 feet) in places.1

The damage is extensive. It's far-reaching and we have a long recovery ahead of us, said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the port, serving over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico's deep-water oil production.2

"What we're seeing is tons of damage, obviously, being exactly where the landfall was for Hurricane Ida. There are vessels, you know, in places that they're not supposed to be," Chiasson told NPR.

"There is no electricity. There will not be electricity for a long time. And in our area, in our community [Lafourche Parhis, population ~100 000], we have no running water."

Chiasson estimated it's going to be weeks to get things back and running. 

Asked about the ripple effects on fuel production expected across the state of Louisiana, Chiasson said: "With Port Fourchon services, day-to-day, efficient services, the most efficient in the world in terms of servicing offshore energy, the prices are going to go up because we're - day to day, we service about 16 to 20% of the nation's entire oil supply."

"Every day that that production does not get back up and running is every day our supply is limited and is going to continue to cause prices."

"And what everybody looks at mainly is prices at the pump for fuel for vehicles. It is going to go up because there's no efficient services for the offshore oil and gas industry. And it's certainly not back up and running as of yet."

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Image credit: Port Fourchon

Port Fourchon damage after a direct hit by Category 4 Hurricane "Ida" on August 29, 2021. Credit: Port Fourchon

"There is a $46 million loss to the oil and gas industry and a $500 million loss toward the national gross domestic product each day the port is closed," Chiasson said.3 

As of Thursday, September 2, there were no major obstructions in any of Port Fourchon’s main waterways, Chiasson said. 

The South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport in Galliano, which is owned by the Port Commission and primarily serves the oil and gas companies by flying workers to and from platforms, is operational since August 30, 'so helicopters and assessment teams were coming in to do things by air.'

As of Friday, September 3, more than 93% of the Gulf's oil and 89% of natural gas production remained shut down as companies assessed the platforms and rigs for damage, according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Workers had begun to return, with about half the platforms and a quarter of the rigs still evacuated.3

"Port Fourchon remains in Recovery Phase in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida," port authorities said in a statement made September 3.4

"Port and tenant assessment teams have been on the ground and have been actively working toward gaining access TO and WITHIN Port Fourchon, clearing storm debris and ensuring safe passage.

"Effective 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning [September 4], Port Fourchon tenants will be given full access to return to their facilities. Standard reentry protocols will be followed, and checkpoints may be staged along the route to ensure port security. Any non-essential travel below the floodgates is highly discouraged. Your presence may hamper recovery efforts to get Port Fourchon fully operational as quickly as possible.

"Road access will remain closed overnight to ensure the safety of first responders, utility workers, and the public, especially during the dark and potentially dangerous nighttime hours with mass power outages along the route to Port Fourchon.

"Port Fourchon Harbor Police remain on duty to monitor traffic and road conditions for public safety. US Coast Guard is allowing conditional access to Port Fourchon waterways, including Belle Pass, with restrictions for daylight operations only. Vessels in port can maneuver in port waterways. Navigation through the main channel in Belle Pass is one lane only, with no meeting or overtaking in the channel. Port waterways will not be full clearance until channel surveys have been completed and flagged obstructions have been removed. Bayou Lafourche north of the port is closed to marine traffic, as are the Ted Gisclair Floodgate in Larose and the Leon Theriot Lock in Golden Meadow."

As of 06:55 UTC on Sunday, September 5, there are 644 490 homes and businesses in southern Louisiana without power, down from more than 1 million on August 30.

References:

1 Category 4 Hurricane "Ida" hits Louisiana on Katrina's 16th anniversary, leaves more than 1 million homes without power - The Watchers

2 Hurricane Ida Does More Damage At Port Fourchon Than Previous Storms - NPR

3 'It's critically important': Port Fourchon rushes to recover after Hurricane Ida - HoumaToday

4 GLPC STORM RECOVERY PHASE - Hurricane Ida - UPDATE #11 - September 3, 2021 5:45 p.m.

Featured image: Port Fourchon damage after a direct hit by Category 4 Hurricane "Ida" on August 29, 2021. Credit: Port Fourchon


REMOVE ADS AND SUPPORT OUR WORK

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, please consider becoming a supporter.

OPEN AD-FREE ACCOUNT


Comments

No comments yet. Why don't you post the first comment?

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar