Potential Hurricane Impact Reduced by Shale Boom

The threat to U.S. domestic production from hurricanes is reduced due to the production from onshore shale plays. A report by the Energy Information Agency noted that sufficient oil is produced onshore and stored to carry the county over temporary shutdowns that might be caused by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2003 the Gulf of Mexico supplied 257% of the U.S. crude oil input. The latest figures from 2014 show that only 4% of the nation’s crude oil comes from Gulf of Mexico offshore production. Weather forecasters predict a below-normal hurricane season in 2015, with potential disruption of 9.7 million barrels of crude oil and 15.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas. In 2014 there were no storm related shut-downs in the Gulf. However, since over half the refineries are located along the Gulf Coast, potential delays in delivery could result from tropical storms or hurricanes in the remaining 2015 season.