If a strong hurricane were to pass through the Gulf of Mexico the overall effect on U.S. oil and natural gas supply would not be as severe as in past years, due to declining production in the region, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
However, Artemis blog warns that this wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change the potential impact to insurers and reinsurers, particularly with the removal and decommissioning of rigs also being insured.
In its post, Artemis notes that the reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) market in recent years has been placing an increasing focus on gaining access to underwriting energy risks, particularly physical damage risks due to storms and earthquakes.
With an increasing amount of ILS capital at risk in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as on the shore through catastrophe bonds and collateralized reinsurance, the exposure to hurricane impacts on the oil and gas production network in and around the Gulf is growing.Ã¢â‚¬
The EIA estimates that up to 11.6 million barrels of crude oil and 29.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas production could be disrupted by storms during the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Its estimate is based on NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook released May 22.
NOAA expects that 8 to 13 named storms are likely to form within the Atlantic Basin over the next six months, including 3 to 6 hurricane, of which 1 to 2 will be intense.
In recent years offshore energy production has experienced relatively minor disruptions due to tropical weather, the EIA reports. However, a single strong storm can cause significant levels of shut-in production:
During September of 2008, category-4 hurricanes Gustav and Ike at one point caused nearly 100 percent of production capacity to be shut in. EIA estimates that these two storms (along with a tropical storm in July) resulted in the loss of 25 percent of the GOM crude oil and natural gas that would have been produced during the 2008 hurricane season.Ã¢â‚¬
Check out the EIA chart showing recent impact of storms on GOM oil and natural gas production:
Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on energy.