Cyclone Gonu Thread 2-Muscat and Bandar Abbas now in the projected path of Gonu (updated at 8p EDT)

Newest Gonu thread created on the front page with newest information as of noon EDT on 6/7/07--the new link can be found by clicking here or you can also find it by going to the front page of TOD at, we'll have a link there for the foreseeable future that will take you to our most recent coverage!

KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 20-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 10-20 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards.

All tips and resources (*and there are already many down there in the first thread, let's replicate that here today in the second thread! Thank you!*) welcome in the comment thread below. If you have any insights, please email the editors box with the word GONU in the subject.

Last updated at 8pm EDT, 6/5.

Here is a link to the first Cyclone Gonu Thread from yesterday. Please put all new resources and insights here as of 7:30am EDT 6/5, but make sure to check out the first thread as well.

Also, click "there's more" below for MUCH more graphics and links, and there's much more from our readers in the comment thread as well...but you are likely to want to go to link noted above for the most recent coverage.

Why might Cyclone Gonu matter? Well, that answer begins with the fact that the world production of petroleum plateauing around 85 mbbl/day, any slight blip in supply or exporting could be quite noticeable on the world markets. A sizeable portion of the world's petroleum exports go through the Gulf of Oman.

Particularly, Oman matters in this because it produces 743,000 bbl/day; Oman is also a net exporter, non-OPEC, whose production peaked earlier in the decade. (Thanks to Mike from Green Car Congress for the link.).

Of course, this storm also has the potential to affect Iran, UAE, India, and/or Pakistan for that matter--mainly because of shipping disruptions, but there could be some real effects on infrastructure and assets depending on track and landfall. There are also refining and other production assets in Southern Iran.

(One will note, as you explore the old comment thread that many of these possibilities are explored...there's a lot of material that we are still sorting through on Iran, shipping lanes, storm surge, etc.)

The latest from Margie Kieper at Weather Underground:

This is sad -- the very area that I documented last night, at the extreme southeastern tip of Oman, is going to be the hardest hit area from Gonu. The cyclone has moved slowly northwest during the day, approaching Oman, and the latest track has it making landfall right at the southeast corner that juts into the Arabian Sea, and then sliding along the coastline, up towards the capital, Musqat, and dissipating against the mountainous terrain. So if the cyclone follows this track, all along the coastline winds will be onshore. Microwave imagery from three hours ago confirms the remaining convection is strongest in the northwestern quad and right at that point of landfall. And IR imagery shows the core of the hurricane just offshore (although with what appears to be a slightly more northward movement, which would track it over water into the Gulf of Oman).

Earlier in the day from Margie Kieper and Steve Gregory (on Jeff Masters' blog) over at Weather Underground:

The Storm surge shown (10-15 ft) will almost certainly hit the Iran coast - even if the storm weakens to a strong CAT 2 late Tuesday (NY time). The Eastern tip of Oman will likely also experience 10-15 foot surge due to the close proximity of the storm track. Further up the Gulf, before reaching the Straits of Hormuz - storm surge heights of 1-4 feet are expected on the Oman side, and 4-possibly 6 feet on the Iranian side near the entrance to the Straits. Significant wave heights will be 20-30 feet, dropping to 15 feet near the Straits.

This is an unprecedented event. NO CYCLONE has ever entered the Gulf of Oman. And there are no custom 'storm surge' models available for that area. This forecast is based on my experience and subjective analysis of the seabed slope and storm surge interaction with the sea floor. Considering the region has never experienced a hurricane, let alone a strong one it is highly unlikely the loading facilities or platforms were constructed to withstand the forces - both wave action and wind force - that they will experience. Significant, damage will occur. How much long term damage, and the volumes associated with it - can not be determined at this time.

And here's the latest projected track:

As for damage assessments, a tip of the hat to Kinetic Analysis Corporation (affiliated with the University of Central Florida). Early estimates of damage and tracking are available here (Scroll down to Gonu). Here's a graphic:

KAC/UCF has also been kind enough to send us some graphics of the storm surge model with the current forecast:

Here's a link to a map of land-based oil assets on the peninsula.

Regarding GONU...

Sorted by date...

--I can say with confidence that this forecaster has never seen the likes of this

If you go here, and click
on the North Indian Ocean links, you can get a feel for how rare this is. From 1995 on, no tropical storm of any strength ever reached the Persian Gulf.

As we know, Hurricane Hazel ripped up the US and into
central Canada 40 years ago.
Hurricanes in Canada? Thats not supposed to happen

Hurrican Juan (strong Cat 2) smacked Halifax in 2003...

New Gonu Thread on front page as of 2am, 6/6. Please place all new resources and insights there if you would. Thanks!

Exclusive Must credit THE OIL DRUM and Chuck Watson of KAC/UCF.

KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 20-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 10-15 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards.

You know, I was going to comment on that light/moderate damage assessment - the assumption that the facilities are built to U.S. hurricane standards is not very realistic - as a lot of the infrastructure seen in the various aerial pictures demonstrates - no seawalls, dikes, or other barricades are noticeable.

Those facilities are getting hammered very hard right now - and the hammering will continue into the night, it seems.

I expect serious to massive damage for anything connected to shipping - they simply did not build to the standards of Atlantic or Pacific storms. Often, it is hard for North Americans to grasp how incredibly violent North American weather truly is.

Oman shut its oil exporting terminal at Mina al-Fahal for about two hours - it is open again now. The Omani Oil Ministry is reproting that the storm is weakening (as we see from the maps) and that oil drilling and refining activities are proceeding as usual. They expect some delays in crude exporting, but fewer than previously expected (unquantified).

The above all from Reuters headlines

From CNN -
'Oman's major oil installations, which were not directly in the projected path and nowhere near as extensive as those of its neighbors, continued operations but took precautions as Gonu approached.'

Interestingly, Mina al-Fahal is northeast of Muscat - and from all the imagery I can see, the storm hasn't even reached there. At least according to the information at

So it is good to see that the facility was shut down for two hours before a Cat 4/5 passed, and they are now confident enough to restore operations while the storm passes.

And from Wikipedia -

'Crude oil and refinery products are loaded on to tankers off Mina Al Fahal by subsea pipeline and SBM (Single Buoy Mooring) Systems.

We'll see what the storm surge does - after the storm actually arrives, that is. If I understand the Navy report, that should be in about 8 or so hours, though it is curving and no longer likely to hit Muscat directly.

A shipping agent told Reuters Oman's Sur export terminal, which handles 10 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas exports had been closed because of the storm and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal, that ships all Oman's 650,000 barrels per day of oil exports, was likely to shut soon.

Does anybody know what is the nature of the oil likely to be lost to the market if the Mina al Fahal terminal suffers severe damage? ie light/heavy, sweet/sour? Is this premium oil that will be sorely missed?

(from Stuart: There's past year storm tracks at The University of Hawaii (click on the North Indian years). Here's the most active past year I could find (1998):

Chabahar and Bandar Abbas seem relevant.

Here's a map of the area:

(here's full size).

What else do we know about Chah Bahar?

What else do we know about the storm surge, etc.?

This is a report from 7:30 a.m. ET:

Oman was evacuating its coastal areas, shipping is expected to be affected as far as the Straits of Hormudz.

That is not seen as favorable for the need to build worldwide gasoline inventories.

The rotation of the storm is counterclockwise.

As I write the leading edge of the storm was striking the SE tip of Oman. Check the location of the eye of the storm. In the past 24 hours hurricane force winds were measured as about 100 miles + across the diameter of the storm (Category 1 or higher)

Realtime or perhaps some delay:

Hindela post this link at the end of the old thread. Some interesting pictures, though probably not as relevant now that the track has changed.

provides a couple of facts.

I'm still wondering about shipping - there has been a paucity of news concerning that area.

Still absolutely zero coverage from major American media.

Why do I feel like this is a setup?

It was on CNN this morning.

But there was little concern. It was like, "Iran's gonna get smacked by a Cat. 3 hurricane, which is really unusual, but no worries, the oil fields are nowhere near the coast."

Meanwhile, traders are relieved that Oman will be spared:

Oil hovers at $70 as Middle East cyclone fears ease

Oil prices eased on Tuesday, as Middle East cyclone fears waned, but concerns over gasoline supply in the United States kept crude above the $70 mark.

...Top exporter Saudi Arabia said its main oil producing region would not be affected by a storm nearing the Arabian Peninsula, while shipping agents said no official warnings had been issued for fellow
OPEC member the United Arab Emirates.

"The cyclone will not have a bigger impact," said Tetsu Emori, analyst at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo.

Oil producer Oman still put its army and police on high alert and its weather service warned of winds 185-205 km (114-128 miles) per hour causing high waves. Oman produces 715,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, versus Saudia Arabia's near 9 million bpd.

Ever helpful Google News search for "gonu" asks did you mean gone?

Yes, that's exactly what I meant.

This morning, the german google news search did find zero results! Not any word! Unbelievable.

But at practically nothing

Click "read more"

The same is true of the German Google News - only two references, one press release from a heating oil company, another from what appears to be some sort of financial aggregator - and that is it.

But if you simply search for 'Gonu shipping' in Google itself, a bit more hard information appears.

I am fairly certain that there is no tanker traffic entering/leaving the Persian Gulf at this point - and that will be true for at least another 24 hours.

One thing to consider - this is a preview, so to speak, of what would happen if the Straights of Hormuz were blocked - because, as of now, they are.

While waiting for news I wondered why the media is not reporting. The oil traders don't seem interested to much either currently.

Consider if the news media was speaking about things that are spoken here. Loss of millions of barrels for a period of time. The consumer will start to hoard. This will draw down stocks very quickly. If the cyclone does not do much damage, there weill be damage from the draw down perhaps. Gasoline stocks are already on the edge it seems. This would put them in worse shape.

Wonder if the press has an a nudge nudge wink wink type of D order like the Brits. Wonder if there is a D order from the Brits.

Over the years cyclones have not really been reported on the states. There were several last year that devastated several areas, and not much on it. Just news that we weren't having any hurricanes and how good that was.

From the link from weather undergroud it seems that some destruction seems obvious, how much and how long to fix.

We will know more when, uh when, when, someone starts to report.

closed countries, could be tough.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Actually the flood gates opened within the last couple hours everyone reporting the same story about "tensions easing" with regard to the storm and oil supply. Almost like they were told it was now ok to do the story but this is what we want you to say. For god's sake, how could "tensions be easing", the storm hasn't even got there yet.

Yep! At what point was the media fretting over the storm to get the economists nervous to now say tensions/worries were easing over the storm?

Sounds like double tongue to me.

From the Oman Observer read more link:

"Gonu is moving in a northwesterly direction towards Oman and likely to make landfall between Masirah and Ras al Hadd by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. It is expected to bring very heavy rains and strong winds. Tidal waves along the coast can range from 4 to 10 metres. This combination of rain, wind and waves can pose a threat to low-lying areas. We expect 150mm of rain to fall over a 24-hour period as the storm makes landfall."

The tropical storm is expected to influence weather conditions as far north as Sohar on the Batinah coast. Heavy rains, squally conditions and high waves are also forecast along the Muscat coast if the storm maintains strength even after making landfall. Fishermen have been advised against venturing out to sea during the three-day storm alert. Gonu, since upgraded to a deadly Category 5 storm, will traverse diagonally towards the Sharqiya region and beyond over the Eastern and Western Hajar mountains before heading out into the Gulf of Oman from the North Batinah side. In the process, the cyclonic storm is expected to trigger turbulent weather overland across Sohar, Liwa and Shinas, particularly over the mountains.

Meanwhile, authorities are mounting a major emergency response in preparation for the looming cyclonic threat. All 17 security agencies and government ministries that make up the National Civil Defence Committee have been issued 'work orders' setting out their respective roles in providing active support to the emergency services. According to Lt Col Azhar al Kindy, Director of the Executive Office of the NCDC, around 4,000 ROP personnel, including those from the Special Forces and Police Academy, are being mobilised as part of the emergency effort triggered by Gonu's impending arrival.


Killer storm
Tropical super-cyclone Gonu could rank among the most lethal storms to hit the Sultanate in living memory. Officials recall the last major storm recorded in 1890, which is believed to have killed some 700 people, mainly along the Gulf of Oman coast and Muscat during the reign of Turki bin Faisal.

You guys are way way way ahead of the Main Stream Media..I must offer my heart-felt congratulations on a Job Well Done.

So far, this cyclone discussion has been a good illustration of our belief systems. It seems that people strongly believing that Peak oil will be a life changing event are quick to believe that the world oil industry will undergo a crisis, while people that dismiss peak oil (mostly those I talked to yesterday) think this cyclone is being sensationalized and the damage, at least to the world system, will be small.

Its interesting, as Stuart suggested yesterday, that we don't have too many internal (or external) databases to run our neural 'pattern recognition circuitry' by on this one. I hypothesize that when confronted with new information 'First CAT 5 cyclone in Gulf of Oman, headed for Strait of Hormuz', peoples initial reactions gravitate towards their previously held belief systems. Those completely sold that Peak oil will lead to societal collapse (I was going to type 'worried' but that would be incorrect), easily jump to conclusions that 'we better fill our gas tanks right away' or that this is cover for an attack on Iran, etc. Those who remain sanguine about the impact about Peak Oil quickly point out that the dry air will break up the storm before it reaches landfall and all this hysteria is overblown, etc.

The truth is that this event has never happened before so we naturally look for clues and insight to help us discover what impacts are most likely. But I found it interesting, mostly when talking to people, that their view of the storm was highly correlated to other views/discussions on the broader topic of peak oil I had with them in the previous year. Many 'man are we screwed' and many more 'if it was a big deal it would be all over CNN' type comments. The average TOD reader of the past two years would likely be on a higher alert, looking for more facts on this apparent black swan event, because he/she is aware that the global transportation system, (and thereby lifeblood) is running on some pretty low margins for error.

I sometimes wonder if Matt Simmons, Richard Rainwater, Amory Lovins and Malcom Forbes (to pick 4) sat in a room where they were 'briefed' with the entire parsed out planetary knowledge about Peak Oil (of which we all know very little), if any of them would change their core beliefs much in the face of new 'facts'. Sometimes facts are secondary to beliefs. I much prefer facts, though I have ingrained belief systems as much as most people (its just that mine are correct...;)

I took a first stab at this here

To a certain extent, you are right about belief systems.

But now, we get a few facts to play with - for example, what happens with a roughly 5 day blockage of all tanker traffic out of the Persian Gulf? That 5 day figure being based on USN information, not on any actual decision by shipping companies/captains - that is, apparently the US Navy has set up a zone where its ships should not sail in terms of Gonu.

This interruption in tanker traffic will be reality - what develops from those facts should be interesting. The other 'fact' is that it seems as if a good portion of Oman's oil and natural gas infrastructure will suffer serious, possibly massive, damage. We will also possibly have a real time glimpse into what happen when 500,000 exported barrels a day of crude is no longer exported.

It certainly won't be the end of the world as we know it - but a serious price spike because 100 million barrels won't be showing up as scheduled? Seems like a fairly easy bet, regardless of your beliefs.

Well, collectively this news is out and oil, at least WTI, is actually down 50 cents today so the assumptions of 500k barrels off the market and 5 days of no oil are either incorrect or not factored in yet.

Im not disagreeing with you - I have no idea what to expect-but oil traders are not a stupid lot - at least in the short term. However, my belief is that its only a matter of time before some 'above ground factor' will disrupt the just-in-time inventory system. When real time (as opposed to pro-forma) spare production capacity is low, any unexpected event, even a small one, can really gum up the system. I think with everything else occupying our days, the average person tends to view all this oil shipping as an abstraction - these barrels of oil show up as slippery black oil in our minds-eye, not as food, water, transportation and fun.

In any case, yes I am rooting for a spike in oil/gas prices - the sooner we have $5+ gasoline, even if its a temporary shock, the more time the nation (and world) will have to prepare and adapt for times when far fewer options will be on the table. In effect, Im hoping Gonu, or any similar event, accomplishes what the politicians cannot.

The 100 million is based on the tanker traffic which is not moving - and the figure is currently, beyond any real questioning, in the 10s of millions of barrels. The Persian Gulf is currently no longer navigable, which means empty tankers will need to wait to enter the Straights of Hormuz, and loaded tankers will wait to leave it (plus the time spent in reloading tankers which were offloaded as a precaution). And yet, this fact seems to be utterly ignored - a roundabout commentary on belief systems. And the time that the empty tankers are not being loaded is 'lost' production in terms of delivering oil to refineries. Of course there are a lot of variables, and a 'loss' of 20 or 100 or even conceivably several hundred million barrels (storm surge rearranges the seafloor enough that deeper draft traffic is no longer possible) is not that significant - except that 20 million barrels will not be coming, period. There will be a gap, of several days duration, for roughly 20% of the world's exported oil supply. And yet, this fact seems amazingly simple to brush away.

The 500k shortfall is based on Oman suffering major damage - that is a probability, or a possibility, or a likelihood, or a chance .....

How long do ships take to travel to the US (biggest buyer) from the Persian Gulf? Only then we'll see how big is the disruption at the "pipeline".

It takes a long time. If the ship travels 400 miles per day, that would still be about 25 days to the U.S., provided the tanker can go through the Suez Canal. If it goes around Africa it takes longer. The largest tankers can't go through the Suez Canal.

U.S. imports are significant, but Asia is a bigger buyer of Persian Gulf oil than the U.S. This is reflected in the prices today: TAPIS is up $0.69 to $75.79, while WTI is down (at the moment).

Tanker travel times from the Persian Gulf to Asia can still be about three weeks. When you consider that part of the supply delay due to this cyclone consists of empty tankers waiting to get into the Persian Gulf, one can easily imagine that the immediate effect on supply may ripple out for about a month.

Perhaps more relevant is how long it takes tankers to sail from Canada, Venezuela or Mexico to Europe and other areas that currently depend more on the shipping that is being held up because of the storm. It will affect these countries more in that they will have to bid for oil from the Western Hemisphere, or West Africa thus upping the global price.

Hard to tell - Europe is a gasoline exporter to the U.S. East Coast - it is likely that those exports will be cut to make up at least a portion of the shortfall.

Further, Europeans seem to be able to reduce their use of oil without destroying their economies - both France and Germany have actually reduced their use of gasoline in the recent past due to price increases - whereas American consumption continues to climb.

About the only certain thing is, 10s of millions of barrels will not be delivered on schedule - and the amount not delivered will be 'lost' - that is, it won't be made up at any time in the near term - the loading/steaming/unloading schedule is not possible to simply ignore.

Re Nate's comment on belief systems dictating responses to Gonu. It will be interesting to see who is proven right. I vote for our group here at TOD.

I don't think it's about proving who is right and who is wrong.

It's about understanding the implications. To understand the implications requires a lot of knowledge about oil, knowledge the general public doesn't have.

The cornucopians don't buy the implications.

The public just doesn't understand, and they will flock to good news if it's reported.

Whether the implications play out is up to the storm, which is in play right now. It will be interesting to watch it play out.

Nate, thoughts about the shape of the future are all belief. "Nobody knows the future" = thoughts about the future are not knowledge and are not "facts" except so far as they are facts about the current state of one's brain. And if you really think your belief about the future is correct, you're no different than a religious type preaching God.

As to the significance of this hurricane and what it will do when it hits land, we'll see, hey?


And if you really think your belief about the future is correct, you're no different than a religious type preaching God

That was an attempt at humor, serengeti. But since you bring it up, deep down, of course I believe my view of the future is correct, so do you, so does Stuart Staniford, President Bush and my mother. How could it be otherwise? Evolution would not favor genes that believed that other peoples views of the future were better than their own. The future is unknown, but certain people are better at 'pattern recognition' and extrapolating trends than others. The average person often conveniently forgets the times when they were incorrect and remembers the times they got it right - its self-confidence promoting amnesia.

However, through observation and experience (and some reading - like Nissem Taleb), I am aware that sometimes (often times) my view ends up not being correct, which is why I come to places like theoildrum to build my opinions on as firm a base of testable knowledge that I can.

I hear your comments - lets not distract this thread like yesterdays, too far from the topic at hand. If the oil traders end up being correct on this storm not being too impactful, I'll be happy to pursue this discussion further when time and space permit.

But since you bring it up, deep down, of course I believe my view of the future is correct, , so do you, so does Stuart Staniford, President Bush and my mother.

I think this statement is correct, but it has nothing to do with evolution.

Whatever you believe at the moment is what you think is right. If you believe in something, you think it's right. If you think something is right, you believe in it. They mean the same thing. If you start believing that someone else is right, that means your opinion is now the same as theirs and you still think you are right.

(This is the argument I use with my wife when she says I always think I'm right.

BTW, the argument never works.)

Cause and effect are all in the head? I think you have a fine future ahead of you, at least in the U.S.

However, right now, and into a foreseeable number of hours into the future, no tankers are sailing in or out of the Persian Gulf. Which, I believe, means that the oil that those tankers would have carried will not be delivered at the time it was scheduled to be delivered for refining. And regardless of how much we want or need that oil, it will not be delivered - it is 'lost' production.

Chains of events are not necessarily beliefs.

Time to reactivate my TODBAN filter.

Classic over-intellectualization.

How about just plain old education as the key factor?

I know a lot about geology, meteorology, evolution, etc. from having once been a science major. What I've learned affects how I see thinks.

I can say my view of this hurricane has developed (evolved) as the information has changed.

So when exactly is Marine Strikeforce: Hurricane Ninja going to be launched into Iran?

When the storm passes and the US hasn't invaded Iran, are we going to forget about the breathless predictions people made here on the Oil Drum?

There is certainly something to be said for Peak Oil as a canvas on which people paint their own world views...

Well, there are strong thunderstorms forecast for my area now and I can hear the constant rumble of thunder on the horizon... I wonder why they are testing the HAARP system over Connecticut today...

Please. There's one person here who is predicting that the U.S. will attack Iran under the cover of the storm. One. Everyone else was kidding or arguing with him.

Hi guys!

My thoughts are that even if there is no damage to production or loading facilities, a five day shutdown of the tanker traffic means 75 million barrels will be delayed in their deliveries. The tanker market is very tight, so it will take several months for the traffic to catch up. This means that Asian and European markets will have to dip substantially into their inventories to maintain deliveries, or possibly curtail gasoline and petrochemical deliveries to some customers. The total volume out of the Persian Gulf is about 17 mbopd, out of a total crude supply of around 83 mbopd, so thats around a 20% shortfall.
Insurance rates should really go up for the tankers, as this is a brand new threat. And speculators should have a field day.
This will give us a real preview of what will happen when production truly begins to drop, or if the Straits of Hormuz are shut down by Terrorists or US Imperialism.

Takes a little Kansas Cattle media outlet to give a good analysis of it all:

OIL FUTURES: Crude Little Changed On Cyclone Uncertainty

"The relative price inactivity was partly fueled by the rare phenomenon of a cyclone in the region, traders and analysts suggested, and many revealed it was the first time they had encountered weather conditions potentially affecting supply from the Persian Gulf.

"In the quarter century that we have been watching energy trading, we have not before discussed severe weather in the Petroleum Gulf," said Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover.

"We had no idea there were category-strength 'cyclones' in the PG to be on the alert for." Others were more prepared to respond to the developments and expected further rises. "Fundamentals pushed the market up yesterday (Monday), and there's more to come today," predicted another trader, who suggested that Gonu was a sufficient influence to support the oil market.

It's not as bad as a hurricane in the U.S.," he said, "because there aren't as many offshore installations. But it's enough to keep people going at the moment." While the extent of gains were questioned by some, they admitted that they did raise the possibility of a break into new highs.

"The market seems to have reacted in knee-jerk fashion, Brent came up a little too quickly," said Julian Keites of Fimat. "It's a question now of whether it can maintain these levels." Cameron Hanover's Beutel said the gains sponsored by Gonu placed Nymex July WTI within striking distance of major resistance.

"All the bulls need to do is find enough traders to believe that this week's (U.S. Department of Energy) report could be bullish to break above $67," he said. But further crude rises would require a rebound in gasoline futures, argued Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix, who suggested negative refinery margins could act as an additional capping factor.

"With RBOB gasoline remaining under pressure while crude oil is overreacting to the Gonu threat the refinery margins have been correcting down with the lower gasoline crack."

Yesterday's thread on Gonu can be found here if you are interested. Lots of interesting discussion in there.

As always, we appreciate your efforts to spread the word and help us publicize the site on outlets that will bring us traffic. Thank you...!

As you can see from our surge maps here and at our special tracking site for Gonu, contrary to Master's comments, there are in fact custom surge models for the Gulf of Oman.

Great stuff here!

Chuck Watson

You go Chuck! :) Thank you for your work.

(These models are also available up in the main post body now as well.) reports

Cyclone Gonu hits Oman gas terminal, ports

The most interesting part is this, saying that gas and oil export will be cut off.

A shipping agent told Reuters that Oman's Sur export terminal - which handles 10 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas exports - had been closed because of the storm and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal, which ships all Oman's 650,000 barrels per day of oil exports, was likely to shut soon.

Also interest:

The Arabian Sea's most powerful storm in modern times has the potential to cause the complete destruction of mobile homes, major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore, and prompt a massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 10km, according to experts.

Arabs have mobile homes?! What about trailer parks?

The foreign workers live in them.

This Gonu event, whether it does any damage to oil & gas infrastructure/shipping or not, underscores the real issue, which is lack of spare capacity in the global oil supply system.

2007 could look a lot like 2005. 2006 was anomalous -- warm winter, no hurricanes. That helped fuel the large oil price spike (anticipation) and the subsequent steep price drop (relief). 2007 could serve up something highly unusual (like Gonu) that tips the system out of its precarious balance.

Or, 2007 could be another case of "nothing happened". I'll take a "wait & see" attitude as we ride that peak oil rollercoaster. I'm just as fascinated by a train wreck as the next guy.

Once things do get screwed up (e.g. 2005 Gulf hurricanes, PDVSA strike in Venezuela), it is very hard to get things back to where they were. Also, I believe the Western media are unable to see the potential importance of this Gonu cyclone because 95% of Americans can't find Oman on a map, let alone understand that so much of "our" oil is produced there or transported out of the Persian Gulf through shipping routes off its eastern coast.

But hurricaines are the natural way in which energy is transported from the tropics to the higher latitudes - That excess thermal energy which didn't appear last year as hurricaines is still brewing and growing down there, waiting for the right trigger. This annual thermal accumulation is likely more or less independent of the larger trends known collectively as Global Warming. In other words, on a year-to-year basis, aren't hurricaines anticorrelated? Doesn't last year's "pass" translate to increased risk this year? Or is this POV merely another mainifestation of my seeing what I've been conditioned to see?

I don't know of any research indicating year to year anticorrelation in hurricane activity as you suggest. It might be interesting to look into.

It is true that hurricanes serve to transport heat from the tropics to higher latitudes, but there are other heat-transfer mechanisms as well. Also, 2006 wasn't abnormally low for cyclones world-wide, it's just that the Atlantic season was well below expectations.

Makes sense - energy transported around the equator easily, the rest of the oceans saw the storms. Thx.

From AlJazeera:

Oman on high alert as cyclone nears

Oman has called a state of emergency as a cyclone heads towards the Gulf, pushing up with it the price of the country's crude oil.

Government authorities began evacuating nearly 7,000 people off one of the country's islands as cyclone Gonu was expected to make landfall on Tuesday.

General Malik bin Suleiman al-Muamri, head of the country's civil defence, said the most powerful portion of the storm was expected on Thursday.

Al-Muamri said the storm, which is heading northwest through the Indian Ocean towards the east coast of Oman, was expected to send waves reaching 10m against the shores of Masira island.

About 500 people were killed on Masira when a cyclone hit in 1977.

According to Tim Roche, a meteorologist, Gonu currently has winds of 260km per hour, with gusts up to 315km per hour.

Roche said that Gonu is forecast to hit Oman with sustained winds of around 185km per hour, before moving north over the Gulf of Oman into southern Iran.

With those wind speeds, the storm would be the strongest cyclone to hit the Arabian Peninsula in recorded history since 1945, he said.

A Newsday story here

[Oman's] major oil installations, which were not directly in the storm's projected path and nowhere near as extensive as those of its neighbors, continued operations but took precautionary measures as Gonu approached.

The government in neighboring Saudi Arabia said the country and oil markets would not be seriously affected by the storm.

The text in the link "The latest from Jeff Masters over at Accuweather:" is incorrect.

The site is Wunderground (not Accuweather) and the quoted text was written by Steve Gregory. (Jeff Masters is on vacation.)

Yikes. My apologies. I used Accuweather yesterday and forgot to change over the source. I went over and apologized over at WU too...sorry! I am actually a Weather Underground guy!

The Chicago Tribune is reporting Oil Prices Drop As Storm Worries Ease

One reason given for this is

To reassure the oil markets, Saudi Arabia's government issued a statement saying the cyclone would have no "direct effect on the central and eastern parts of the kingdom."

This story is showing up in Google news. When I looked the link was wrong - I had to go back to the paper itself.

Anybody out there know the origin of the name "Gonu?" Someone wondered yesterday if Gonu was a boy or a girl?

About all I learned on that yesterday was that etymologically "Gonu" means "knee" and has Greek derivation.

No idea on gender, though many of the Asian news reports used "he" to describe him, erm, it. in....I'm Gonu F*%k you up


From Guardian:

Gonu, which means a bag made of palm leaves in the language of the Maldives...,,-6686922,00.html

As far as the accuracy of what the media is reporting on Gonu, I believe they are about as accurate as they were with Katrina in N.O. 4 hours after it had passed. Everything is O.K. We slipped by again! Then the flooding began.

Dipchip, this will probably just sound like bitchin' and moaning. The American "News" media is controlled by four right-wing corporations, Rupert Murdock's Fox, Time-Warners CNN, General Electric's NBC, and ABC. They have cut costs through the years by cutting down on reporters, and focusing on fixed location news teams. The only way this is going to get many reporters is if it directly threatens Bagdad, a vanishingly small probability, or Michael Jackson's home in Dubai, still a very low probability.

Hope you enjoy the reports standing outside the LA County Jail on Paris Hilton!

I'll give you Fox, but the rest of those are right wing? I agree with everything you said, except for the political characterization of those networks, particulary CNN. Goofy wing maybe, but not right wing.

I worry about Paris in that cold lonely jail cell.....

lago, they all support the Corporatocracy, listen to their worshipful justifications of executive pay, listen to their drumbeating for expanded resource war against Iran, their empathetic regard for the Auto Industry. At any rate their agenda controls the news that is reported. Thank the gods for the internet!

Ah the internet! Where all those news corporations place their content, Google controls what news you find, Cisco makes sure it routes to you, AT&T make sure it pops up on the Microsoft browser on your Dell computer. All so people working in corporate cube farms will have a pleasent distraction during the day. Yessiree, the internet, one big hippie commune!

Just having a little fun with you Oilmanbob...

Keithster, I'm ready for a tall hippy woman who doesn't shave her legs and is cheap to feed-tofu and brown rice, a few parsnips and mangos. Peak oil doesn't mean peak peace, love and happiness!

I moved out to San Francisco a few years ago, and I am happy to report that you can still find some of them here. But times have changed too. Some of them bought the houses they lived in and are pretty rich now; places in Haight-Ashbury go for a few million dollars! The corner of Haight and Ashbury even has a Gap clothing store now.

It is still a beautiful city though.



"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

Exclusive Must credit THE OIL DRUM and Chuck Watson of KAC/UCF.

KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 20-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 10-15 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards.

How long was the main oil terminal in the New Orleans area down?

all of this assuming they are built to US standards...

and if they are not?...

What about the Khalij-e-Chabahar Port?

Omani Electrical Infrastructure

Above cut & posted from page 18 of this pdf (thanks Rethin for the flickr set-up).

The red lines are for the National Oil Company (half the electricity is used for oil pumping, so a usable surplus there will be available for civil use) and the green for the national electricity grid.

If Gonu follows the expected track, some generation may be lost (made up by idle oil company plants) but the inland HV power transmission lines should be OK (the coastal lines seem to be at risk).

Judging from the lack of transmission lines, the tip of the horn is probably not heavily populated.

Limited electrical service should be available in the capital and the nearby port and even in harder hit areas quickly after the storm passes.


Here's the Oman electrical infrastucture form Alan's pdf


If you want to post a pic to TOD
1.upload your image to (registration is free)
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So simple even Hothgor can do it :-)

I kind of miss Jeffry's little buddy. Like a thrombosed hemeroid, he grew on us.

Also, newest plots have the track of the storm "left" or west of its current path...meaning Oman could be getting more of the brunt of the storm...more on that as it develops.

PG - I have a hunch that your natural calling was as a meteorologist...

always have been a bit of a weather nerd.

ok, about just a nerd...

"political meteorology..." now there's a burgeoning field, eh?

Petro-meteorology anyone?

We are not nerds. We are the insightful and intelligent ones. THEY are the sheeple. We are above, they are below; never forget that.

oh Cid, I use the words "nerd" and "geek" with love and affection for those of my tribe...worry not. :)

Hmmm Our weather man is more mythrological, never seems to get it right, blames the pacific.

Yes, it's looking more like the coast-hugger that a couple of the models have been forecasting over the past twenty-four hours.

Could do with another KAC/UCF run with the system passing very close to Muscat.

The Omanis seem remarkably relaxed about this.

It is rare for a hurricane to turn away from a source of friction (i.e. land). The reason is winds on that side slow down faster than those on the seaward side (steering currents can overwhelm this effect). Friction is stronger the closer land is to the eyewall.

Sometimes. if land disrupts the eyewall, it will reform further out and help turn the (weaker) hurricane away from land.

Also, the effect of steering currents is less if the winds are stronger (Gonu is, of course, steadily weakening).

Absent the presence of steering currents, I would expect a straight course.

What ARE the steering currents now ?


The 12Z model runs are now well off the official JTWC track. The consenus has Gonu gently curving up the Oman coast, and going straight over Qeshm island into mainland Iran (by which time it will only be a weak system).

Most of the models see Gonu weakening rapidly. The GFNI is the curve ball though. This sees Gonu going inland into Oman, but then swerving out into the middle of the Gulf of Oman where it rapidly regains strength and smacks straight into Bandar Abbas as a Cat 3. Chances of that are miniscule I would think, but it would be one for the conspiracists. You can almost imagine GB sitting in front of his desktop computer with a steering wheel :-)

don't forget the maniacal grin...and the childlike enthusiasm.

Muscat June 5th. I presume they are 8 hours ahead of ET, and it is after dark by now (2:00 P.M. ET).

"You can almost imagine GB sitting in front of his desktop computer with a steering wheel :-)"

Wild eyed, beating on his chest, shouting, "I am the president!"

...with euphoric feelings of further vidication as now God himself has decided that Iran is evil and must be destroyed...

Okay, JTWC has now adjusted the forecast track more in line with the models. They have Gonu going straight over Muscat and then all the way up the Gulf of Oman to Bandar Abbas. 06/18Z has Gonu directly over Muscat with winds 60kts, gusts 75kts.

This is now also in line with IMD which has always been much more westward (I won't link to IMD because the server's totally overloaded by the looks of it). Last I looked the IMD track veered westward before it reached Bandar Abbas.

Bandar Abbas is now in line. Can the moisture, if it stays in the water, feed this thing long enough to be a Cat 1 at landfall?

What the heck, let's link and see how it goes:

This more westerly track leads to a significantly less powerful storm, and the forecast is that dry air entrainment is going to weaken the storm quite rapidly.

I guess the one outside possibility is that if Gonu reenters the central Gulf of Oman as predicted it will hit some extremely warm water and could reintensify. I don't think this is considered very realistic though.

Going form what we know of gulf hurricanes that do exactly this after hitting Florida or the Caribbeans I don't understand why its not likely. In general this is standard for Hurricanes through the gulf. The brush land almost break up then reform over open water.

So I don't see why its considered so unlikely ?

I question the track of the storm once it leaves the coast since it will have to reorganize.

The only thing I see stopping this from happening is that it continues to trap dry air but since it only was able to do this when it basically hit the coast I'd say once it moves off it will reform and strengthen and I question which way it actually goes.

If someone can overlay the gulf of Mexico on the region to get a sense of scale that would be cool.

I think it unlikely if only because the North Atlantic, and Gulf of Oman, are two very different bodies of water. Once is largest, and effectively one sided... the other is confined on 3 sides, so avenues for further moisture and energy influx into a storm like Gonu brushing Oman and heading towards UAE is likely less than a similar Atlantic storm brushing Florida and head toward the Carolinas.

I was talking about ones that enter the Gulf of Mexico its the regain strength in a fairly quickly after passing Cuba and Florida. Similar process on the other side of the Gulf near Yucatan. They tend to get back up to speed fairly rapidly in the shallow hot waters after brushing land.

I think everyone is being fooled by the scale here - the narrowest part of the Straights of Hormuz is 21 miles.

Hurricanes in North America have much more room to play around in - in a sense, Gonu has threaded the needle, since there really just isn't that much room to play around in.

Again this is not a lot of different from a Hurricane thats skirted Florida and Cuba. Its a bit reversed but your talking about 100-200 miles of open water on the back side after passing Cuba/Florida and the Hurricanes are back up to strength already at that point.


I just don't buy the storm dissipating. Of course we will know soon.

This event seems like a perfect Dirac impulse for measuring the oil transfer function (tm) for shipping out of the Gulf(*)

There should be a chain of oil deficits caused by shipping interruptions to various parts of the world, whose delay is based on the transportation distance from the Gulf, and whose amplitude is the fraction of a country's imports.

(*) assuming the LNG+oil in Oman and parts of Iran are not destroyed.

that would be true if storage facilities like the SPR around the world didnt exist - we wont know until well after the fact how much of the shipping disruption was made up from drawdowns on government facilities, demand destruction, etc.

Yes, but an opportunity to collect data none the less.

Treat the SPRs like commercial inventories and add them in. Get before inventory numbers and after inventory numbers. It should give you the full picture of how much drawdown, if any, occurs.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

With all the talk about damage to oil and gas facilities, i'm a little more curious about the actual channel itself. After hurricane Katrina, the damage below the water was at least as significant if not more significant than the damage above. What are the chances of sediment being moved around so much that they'll have to dredge the channel before shipping can begin again? If this is the case, how long will it take to complete?

CNN weather segment at 11:07 - "look where this is, here are the Straits of Hormuz, where all the Midwest (I presume he meant Mideast, heh heh...) oil comes from, so we'll have to watch that".


This is very interesting. I've been looking at satellite imagery for over 10 years now, and I'm blown away by GONU.

I've put together a sequence of images showing GONU's development. here:

  • This table (start upper left) begins on May 30, through June 4. Four samples per day. Understand that it's very difficult for Cyclones to form west of India (they are common east of India). Cyclones and tropical storms cannot form within 10 degrees of the equator as the coriolis effect is not strong enough to allow them to organize (The southern tip of India is at ~10 N) If you look at the geography you'll see there's not much ocean above 10 north, and only a relatively small fetch of water before you hit Arabia/Africa, heading west. GONU started off as a disturbance off the western coast of India at about 15 north. After festering for a couple of days and being reinforced by several waves coming off of India GONU finally started to organize in early June - perfectly placed for further development.

    Even more impressive has been the explosive development since June 4. From sci.geo.meteorology.

    First Category 5 Hurricane of 2007, GONU is Katrina-Wilma-Monica
    Strength, 162 mph winds, 195 mph gusts. It's the strongest ever
    recorded in Indian Ocean Basin, following Monica strongest ever in
    Australian waters, following Wilma strongest ever in Atlantic Basin,
    following Rita strongest ever in Gulf of Mexico.

    The string of recent record breaking tropical storms and increasingly bizarre weather continues.

    Also it's still very early in the season, especially for such a strong storm. Just a couple of months ago all the cyclones in the Indian ocean were in the southern hemisphere and affecting Madagascar and Africa.

    It will be interesting to see how much damage and disruption this thing causes.. hard to say, nothing like it's ever happened before.

    And it finally made the front page of

    Oman braces for powerful cyclone

    A cyclone expected to be the strongest storm ever recorded in the Arabian Peninsula churned toward the oil-rich Gulf on Tuesday, forcing thousands of residents of Oman's coastal towns to flee their homes.

    Its affect on the region's oil installations was unclear with the storm expected to skirt or lose strength before hitting the most important installations in the Persian Gulf off of Saudi Arabia and southern Iran.

    But oil analysts said it could delay the loading of tankers in the Gulf depending on its path -- something that could cause a spike in oil prices.

    And from that article -

    'Manouchehr Takin, an analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, said the real fear is that the loading of tankers might be delayed by the storm.

    "About 17-21 million barrels a day of oil are coming out of the Persian Gulf. Even if only some of the tankers are delayed that could reduce the supply of oil and increase prices," Takin said.'

    'Might be delayed?' There is nothing sailing through that area right now - at least nothing likely to be sailing for much longer.

    Though technically the Straights of Hormuz are not closed - the storm is south of there - the effect is essentially the same.

    No ship is sailing in or out of the Persian Gulf right now - at least not if the captain has any experience with such weather. At least I would hope - having a VLCC break up would be a major disaster itself.

    The storm path is a gate - and no insurance company will pay a claim for a ship that sails into such a storm.

    I wonder how experienced the Captain of the Copiapo is...

    Assuming he's still alive, I think he's a lot more experienced now than he was 48 hours ago

    That ship, as of 4:00 EDT, has dissapeared off that tracking map. It appears that the tracker relies on the ship's own position reporting, and that position that we saw was from June 3.

    COPIAPO 2007-Jun-03 0600 N 21°12', E 062°06' ELWP5

    That ship doesn't seem to report often. It may be happily sailing around right now, or it may be at the bottom of the ocean. It doesn't appear there's anyway to tell.

    he's all good, now a good deal south of the storm, and heading the other way :)
    date/time lat lon naut. miles run SOA wind from knots barom.
    2007-Jun-05 18:00 N 17°24' E 056°42' 210 23 1001.8

    It seems the storm center is heading directly for Ra's al Hadd the point of Oman. These folks have no concept of the difference between a storm surge from a 5 to 3 storm and a 1 to 3 storm. The storm surge does not dissipate at the same rate as the wind and pressure. If the loading facilities are at Sur, their infrastructure is history.

    Prob built to GOM standards.

    What is your basis for this statement? This area of the world has never had storms above Cat-3 and even then over the last 150 years, the hurricane tracks show none entering the Gulf of Oman proper. So why would the facilities in Oman be built to GOM standards?

    If you have data regarding this, please speak up. If it is just your opinion, please confirm.

    Ghawar Is Dying
    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

    Since this news came out yesterday, oil (traded in US) is up less than a dollar (1%) but natural gas is up about 30 cents (3.5%). I wonder if the LNG trading desks immediately were aware that there are no 'small' LNG facilities in the middle east. The Qalhat which PG noted above is expected to be out for 20-30 days is a 3.3 million ton per year (not sure of the conversion but Im guessing thats over 2 bcf per day - most are).

    Back dated natural gas contracts (2008, 2009, etc) made all time highs yesterday.

    On page 4 of this pdf is a description and map of Omans LNG trains.

    Qalahat is a minor part of the worldwide LNG supply train. More LNG capacity growth is scheduled for this year elsewhere.

    The loss of tanker traffic is not confirmed, but if the five day loss is occurring, would it mean about 10 million bod? I do not know. As has also been stated earlier in the thread ships waiting to get to port might congest the loading facilities for several days after the storm, unless there were ample slips and oil flow at port. OPEC supply was down this past month. Nigeria Forcados is scheduled to relieve some of the shortage. Will need to see if conservation can also build inventories.

    Refineries should have some oil in storage to cover a five day loss, unless a few had drawn down inventories with expectations of building them later this year.

    Hello Rainsong and fellow TODers,

    I am certainly no expert on LNG, but what are the possible safety problems from a shutdown facility + hurricane?

    I assume the pipeline running to the ship mooring facility can be backpumped or safely flared off before the storm. What happens to the storage tanks? I am guessing the pressure builds [no electricity to run refrig. units] and then safety flaring must occur.

    Is the safety flare on top of the tanks, or at the end of some pipeline a mile off? Will storm surge rip off this pipeline causing an inability to flare? Can you even keep the flare ignited in swirling hurricane winds? Or will clouds of well-mixed 'fuel-air explosives' find their own ignition source? Thxs for any reply.

    EDIT: I also assume the LNG tanks can handle the barometric pressure drop from a hurricane without a tank rupture-- can't have supercold flammable liquids sitting around.

    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    Hello TODers,

    Trying to do my own research on this:

    natural gas is lighter-than-air:

    It is the heavier-than-air gas products that pose the greatest risk if flaring is required, but cannot be done, or from a tank rupture. Since these fuels are processed out before the liquifaction process of the residual natgas: it is safe to assume additional storage tanks are near the LNG tanks. Suffocation or fire risk is obviously enhanced by accidental leakage of these fuels from a hurricane.

    Does anyone know gas dissipation rates in heavy winds? I am picturing an intermittent downdraft of non-deorodorized [no mercaptan] gas fumes making people suddenly gasp for air. But maybe heavy rains and winds will make this a non-problem.

    Can you imagine, in order to prevent this, the LNG boss giving you a BIC lighter in order to keep the flaring process safely lit? =)

    Bob Shaw in hx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    At 16 g/mol, methane would have to be around 165K to have the same density as air, which is not that cold, closer to dry ice than LN2 temp. Possible to get there by release of the pressurized gas, but more easily resulting from venting or rupture of an LNG tank. Still, the winds would seem to make any accumulation of an explosive concentration impossible.

    All about the transport ships that bring the products, from the early days to the biggest baddest boys on the block. Which are being taken off the drawing board they say here.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    MSNBC posted an article yesterday that mentioned Gonu, but only in passing:

    Shipping seems to be giving GONU a 100 mile berth. This link gives real-time location and vessel classification (i.e container or tanker). Hope the info is useful

    Except Copiapo.Seems to be in center of storm.

    someone ought to morse code the captain of the Gracechurch Comet and advise him to do something.? Unless, they already have and this is safest place - in deep waters - rather that than try and get through Hormuz riding a full wave

    Her last reported position was 23 hours ago. She's probably long gone by now.

    This was where she was from.

    Hello OuttaControl,

    I know nothing about Maritime Law.

    Who makes the final ruling whether a ship sails into the teeth of a fierce storm: Ins. Corp, ship-owner, or the ship's Captain? Thxs for any reply.

    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    Interesting point - without a truly simple answer.

    The captain has 'absolute' authority - but since he does not own the vessel, he is also subject to the desires of the owners, except where he decides that their instructions are dangerous or impractical - if he decides differently than the owners, generally he will be looking for a new job.

    However, the insurance companies decide whether to pay a claim if a ship sinks - which means the owners follow the guidance of the insurance companies pretty closely, especially as their insurance rates depend on following those instructions.

    However, the insurance companies do not have any authority - a company can certainly decide to sail their ships without insurance, and accept the risk.

    This is how the Tanker War of the 1980s played out - the risk was too high for the insurance companies, which meant most tankers were kept out of the war/danger zone, but it did not mean that no tankers sailed - it merely meant that the tankers sailing did so at considerable risk, balanced by the profit of their journey - generally, not balanced very well, since the profit wasn't that great.

    Thanks - nice link.

    And from a quick look at the positions, it seems as if the Persian Gulf is more or less shut - no surprise there.

    ON your suggested site KAC-UCH, Tracking
    Gonu, Switch from Official Forecast to
    Best Objective. What a difference, right
    through the Oil Producing areas. Is this

    From the BBC:

    A brief article, but underneath are comments from Residents in Oman.

    Interesting stuff.

    His Majesty the Ruler of this country has kindly declared holidays from today till Saturday 9 June.

    Looks like they're taking the week off. Including the oil production?

    'Its good to be the King'...
    - Mel Brooks

    Actually, thats a bit glib.

    Declaring a National holiday is a smart move. Takes the pressure off non-essential workers to try to get to work. And they still get paid. Good crowd control, cuts risk. Sensible chap.

    A BBC reader from Muscat wrote:

    I have lived in Oman for nearly 10 years and I have never experienced something like this. The schools are closed, we have been told the water and power is going to be cut. We have also been told to fill buckets and bathtubs with water and to stock up on food supplies for at least 5 days! The houses in Oman are not strong enough to withstand the winds and the rain is pouring down inside our homes. Even though we know we are going to be safe, there will be alot of damage done and it is not safe outside the house.
    Andre Waerness-Vold, Muscat, Oman

    The power issue could be a problem with respect to the oil infrastructure. That was a big problem after Katrina. Hard to re-start pumps, pipelines, power plants, refineries, etc., when there's no electricity.

    Per my map and analysis of the Omani electrical grid (posted this thread)

    They should have at least minimal power at critical facilities, oil and gov't.

    Local distribution lines will likely go down and the workforce to repair them will be problematic. Perhaps aid from Dubai ?

    Oil company power plants (red) can replace coastal national power stations (green) that have been damaged (enough capacity if Oman pumps less oil).


    Hmmm. Somebody should tell Worldweather to update their forecast.

    Looks like good weather for a while, according to Accuweather:

    Gentlemen, this is not a normal cyclone. It is being driven by some Gov (US or Russian) and won't you be surprised when it takes aleft turn after Oman and heads for Bandar Al Abbass its real target. Got to deny the Iranians any oil revenue affter all...

    What if it "strays" in this direction?

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    I don't think HAARP has the power to do that yet. But I'll bet they can get it close to Bandar Abbas. Iran will be pretty pissed off when we destroy their oil terminal.

    Well, at least I can appreciate the concreteness of your prediction, though it seems far-fetched, so to speak. We'll see soon enough if you rate a Hero or a Zero.

    Hurricane control might make a good plot for a comic book, but otherwise, it is just silly.

    The energy required to create an average hurricane (much less a cat 5) is here (from NOAA):

    An average hurricane produces 1.5 cm/day (0.6 inches/day) of rain inside a circle of radius 665 km (360 n.mi) (Gray 1981). (More rain falls in the inner portion of hurricane around the eyewall, less in the outer rainbands.) Converting this to a volume of rain gives 2.1 x 1016 cm3/day. A cubic cm of rain weighs 1 gm. Using the latent heat of condensation, this amount of rain produced gives

    5.2 x 1019 Joules/day or
    6.0 x 1014 Watts.

    This is equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity - an incredible amount of energy produced!

    More details here:

    I find it quite ironic that some people believe that nations have the power to steer hurricanes with 200 times the world electrical generating capacity in order to get a leg up on the peak oil resource war....?

    I guess that was my point. A few facts, now and again, are healthy things.

    Yes, but it only takes a small rudder to steer an entire ship and a small amount of harmonic energy to destroy a bridge...

    Bute force isn't the only option.

    I thought it was all caused by a butterfly's wings beating in the Amazon. . . No?

    Right principle, wrong cause. Its actually the energy from Cheney lighting George W. Bush's farts in the oval office!

    The good news is that if the Bush administration is steering the storm they'll f**k it up.


    funny you take a name of such a character and have so little imagination. anyway

    Perhaps you would like to tell that to Casper Weinberger and ask him to take off his tin foil hat

    'There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.

    So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important. (end quote)'

    You assume much with that, let me whip out this big pencil and shove some math at you attitude.

    This means you are making many assumptions that you don't have the answers too.

    a link to a gov. site that would have ZERO interest in promoting such knowledge is far from evidence.

    That the nature and construct of hurricanes is an exact science. That the formation and building of hurricanes is exactly known to you and much mr. trout.

    Would you like to read the weather manipulation bill introduced by Dennis Kuccinich that tried to outlaw such "weapons". Of course it was defeated, but he knew enough to say "whoa" lets talk about this before we start willy nilly trying to play God.

    So whip out that pencil and shoot some more math, and perhaps you should pass on your great knowledge of how the weather works, and the nature of Dod programs that you don't include in your quick dismissal of evidence and programs that say you are incorrect in your assumptions of what is really possible.

    And of course, the poster above reminds us that the United Nations has gotten countries to sign a treaty that outlaws such things. So the UN needs a tin foil hat too, they are in the habit of asking people to not use weapons that don't exist or are not possible.

    What company do you work for gtrout.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    New Gonu Thread on front page as of 2am, 6/6. Please place all new resources and insights there if you would. Thanks!

    Umm the US doesn't want to destroy oil facilities even Iran's. It would cause severe worldwide economic hardship.

    There goes that half baked theory.

    I have no idea what's behind this freak of nature we call Gonu, but I know that the original work of Tesla showed that the bottom of the ionosphere could be reshaped with rf radiation at high potential. That's what HAARP exploits, and it doesn't take vast amounts of energy to do so. The open question is whether that reshaping could be used to steer the jetstreams and thus direct the weather. That's not to say that a hurricaine could be intentionally created or even steered, but I'm not so dismissive of weather-control claims, given the long history of US involvement, including the promise not to do so in warfare that's contained in the ENMOD treaty.

    As far as the US not wanting to destroy Iranian oil-export capability: Says who? You mean like in Iraq? It's not like the wells would be damaged, or the oil unrecoverable. No, like in Iraq, the near-term goal could be to bring the local economy down, the midterm goal to create an above-ground source of a price spike along with a little much-needed demand destruction, and the long-term goal has always been about getting control of the spigot before the big squeeze begins in earnest.

    As I said upstream, it's far-fetched. But it's neither ridiculous nor impossible.

    I don't know that much about it, but isn't it Russia that has mastered the storm-steering technology? Russia is oil rich and very pissed at the US right now. Could easily mess up the US if they messed up that straight bad.

    of course. Russia, a country with virtually no experience with hurricanes or cyclones, and only one warm water port, would have mastered the ability to control/create hurricanes/cyclones. Not to mention they only got out of debt and started to rebuild the military a couple of years ago. And then add in the fact that the Russians never really pursued "super weapons" during the Cold War.

    There is NO proof whatsoever that the Russians, or anyone, has the ability to control weather.

    Etz3l -

    That would make landfall right on top of Kuwait, who just a couple of weeks ago unpegged their currency from the US Dollar!

    I don't think it will make it as far as Syria, which followed suit last week...


    I knew this would happen. Everytime something unusual occurs, or out of the ordinary, it must be the government. ALWAYS. No such thing as coincidence is there? Or the fact that these things have to happen every once in a while, otherwise we would never know about them?

    No such thing as coincidence is there?

    Well the saying in politics is "there are no coincidences".

    can you prove it is or is not, its your choice though to think what you will, but to try and prove something by such a statement as yours above is really a weak argument, backed up by zero evidence.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    Occam's Razor suggests we should take the simplest answer that meets the available facts. Absent any additional facts that corroborate some sort of weather manipulation, the logical conclusion is that it is simply a coincidence.

    The burden of proof is on those who suggest more complex chains of events. Feel free to take your best shot... if you have the facts to back your case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Ghawar Is Dying
    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

    I don't have to prove anything. I am maintaining that there is nothing extraordinary going on here, that this is the natural way of the world. The burden of proof, as GreyZone has pointed out, rests on you, since you are trying to say that something extraordinary is occuring. And since you have not proven anything, but instead made a large number of assumptions without merit, until you offer any proof, your opinions can not be taken seriously.

    Google Earth KML Satellite Image Overlay From NASA

    Takes awhile to load, and I think its the same image from yesterday, but still neat.

    I checked on the name "Gonu". A number of local countries get to add names to the list for storms in the Indian Ocean. "Gonu" was contributed by the island archipelago of Maldives and is the name of fish:

    It seems to be pronounced the way it looks, as in "We're gonu raise the oil prices."

    Eeek! They just issued a Tornado Warning for Conn. and Mass. A Warning!!

    I grew up around here. This doesn't happen. The weather is not the same as it was forty years ago.

    ...could be an interesting ride to work this afternoon...

    "I grew up around here. This doesn't happen. The weather is not the same as it was forty years ago."

    But maybe it is the same as it was 140 years ago.

    Mose in Midland

    It finally made the homepages of Yahoo...

    Arabian Peninsula braces for powerful Cyclone Gonu
    (including a good satellite map released by UAE)

    ...and (under two categories)...

    * Hurricane Central: Tropical Cyclone Gonu
    (at 12:04 they say GONU is "weakening")

    * Expert: Gonu close-up [BLOG]
    (posted Monday night by Stu Ostro, Senior Meteorologist, including "a few stunning images" - check the MODUS one)

    PS - I love Prof. Goose's coinage: "political meterology"!

    Google map for MINA AL FAHL:,+58.5&ie=UTF8&ll=23.631865...

    And for QALHAT:,+59.4&ie=UTF8&ll=22.661472...

    Looks like someone was filling 'er up when this pic was taken.

    If you zoom out it shows great seafloor detail.
    My biggest impression is that these places, if they get hit, will be washed away. Hell, it's all practically built on the beach. Not a seawall in sight.

    I was just over a Jeff Masters Wunderblog looking at the pictures.

    Heck, the whole country is built on the beach.

    I hate to be the bearer of glad tidings, but the WSJ Energy Round-up is already reporting no biggie, this storm has already passed without major demage, and that operations may be closed for one or two days.
    I guess that was a lot of scaremongering. To what end? For what profit? Good questions.
    Sounds a lot like the Memorial Day gasoline scare. We were going to run out of gas etc. Nothing happened.
    If the PO crowd wants to discredit itself, you guys are doing a good job.

    So you're claiming that the WSJ can see into the future?? Incredible! This talent should be used for other things as well.

    The storm hasn't even gotten to Oman yet, idiot.

    BenjaminCole has a history of making idiotic statements. Look at his comments section. He's just a troll. He's here all the time but says YOU PO people. Why is he here? He is the same person who was saying worldwide crude oil demand had been declining since 1979.

    It would be particularly ironic if they would use these powers to publish tomorrow's stock prices today...

    Benji my boy I love you. Always bringing a little comic relief to a serious situation. A little levity is never misplaced, But I would recommend viewing a few current weather maps of the Arabian Sea!

    Here is the reporting og the WS Journal.


    Commodities Data
    Futures Quotes
    Cash Prices


    Search Commodities for the following word(s):

    Display all Commodities articles

    Oil Slips as Cyclone Worries Ease
    June 5, 2007 12:31 p.m.
    Crude-oil futures declined Tuesday, as Tropical Cyclone Gonu weakened off the coast of Oman and moved toward Iran without causing a major supply disruption in the Persian Gulf.

    July crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped 45 cents to $65.76 a barrel. July Brent on ICE Futures slipped five cents to $70.35 a barrel.

    Gonu was forecast to weaken further over the next 12 to 24 hours as it moves across the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and makes landfall in southeastern Iran late Wednesday, according to an advisory issued at 9 a.m. GMT by the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

    Okay, I am an idiot, by PO standards.

    As to my participation in this "forum," I thought that is what is was supposed to be: A forum. That means many opinions.

    Or is it a propaganda venue for hedge funds and others with dire need of higher oil prices?

    "Idiot" -- agreed -- either that or just trying your hand at instigating another circle jerk.

    How about answering your critics just once.

    Start by answering why you believe [as you mentioned yesterday] that the Jack II well is a big deal now and why you believe that a field more than one hundred and fifty miles from existing infrastructure 22,000 feet down [15,000 feet of rock in 7,000 feet of water is going to be the cure for expensive ["$60"] oil.

    If you can't defend your positions don't bring them up again. Please. And wash your hands after posting.

    His problem is simple:

    he doesn't understand the difference between "could" and "is."

    Funny word, "is". . . as I recall, even some US Presidents have trouble with it.


    You remember wrong. It was his interrogators who got it wrong. They were the ones who wanted to make "is" mean "was". As in "there is no sexual relationship".

    I am mainly sticking around to see if you apologize when you are wrong.


    BTW I remember the media calling Katrina a whimper before the woes.

    The "Memorial Day gasoline scare" I thought it was an ongoing peak driving season gasoline refinery production/gasoline imports issue. Of course you probably took the most uninformed comment and deluded it into the message you want to obfuscate.

    Also what crowd do you belong too?

    It seems your friends over at WSJ cant even stand you, Mr. Cole.

    You seem to have a much different definition of Peak Oil than which is held by most here at TOD. Our definition: Peak Oil is when the maximum rate of crude oil production is reached. Simple enough. Your definition, however, seems to imply that tar sands, biofuels, and whatever other alternatives will increase actual crude oil production. What I mean by "actual crude oil" is oil that comes out of the ground as oil. Tar sands do not come out of the ground as oil. Corn and sugar cane do not come out of the ground as oil. Neither does palm, hydrogen, kerogen(shale), etc.

    All the alternatives are actually derivatives. "Actual crude oil" is fundamental.

    Someone oughta tell that troll to either fret properly or get lost.

    I don't know what you're all so worried about. It's like you make it a sport predicting disaster.

    Everything points to oil not being affected that much;
    at worst, shipping might be delayed a bit. But that's just for one day, and won't set any permanent trends.

    And as for it reaching Saudi Arabia? C'mon guys, that is highly, highly unlikely.

    Excuse me, Oman is responsible for nearly 3/4 of a million barrels a day and it's Minah al Fahal Oil Terminal is practically built on the beach. What is the everything that is doing the pointing? By everything I see we could see weeks or more of disruption and a reduction in overall exports for an extended period of time. There are major oil facilities in the line of fire. Not just Oman but Bandar Abbas in Iran. If the storm follows the strait northwest, well, you might as well go out and get your bicycle right now, as gasoline will be largely unavailable at any price.

    "gasoline will be largely unavailable at any price."

    Oh. So people jump all over me for pointing out that the WSJ says this storm has blown over, no biggie. Oil traders are scrambling, crude went down today, in price.

    But I am the bad one.

    But someone who says we will be riding bicycles if this (now weakening) storm follows a particular path....that's okay.

    This is why the TOD crowd is being catagorized as a "cult."

    You guys are destroying your own credibility. You have many valuable insights, and serve as a good counterweight to CERA, EIA and IEA, all who say oil production will increase for decades. But through sheer hostility and scaremongering, you lessen your long-term influence.

    But hey, the hedgies love you.

    My understanding was that tar sands production is counted as crude oil production, certainly by the EIA and British Petroleum.

    This is why you need to read a text on peak oil prediction (such as Hubberts Peak or Beyond Oil by Deffeyes). It is clear you don't understand what is being predicted, or how the prediction is calculated. Until you understand what you are *trying* to talk about your going to come across here as an idiot that can't count his own fingers.

    The hostility is because you sound like a child screaming noise while others are trying to have a conversation. Go. Learn. Something.

    Once you understand the techniques, then, if still don't believe the technique works, come back with an argument that is not "hubbert was wrong because of ethanol production" or "hubbert was wrong because I can add two random production values and they don't decline".


    Give Benjamin a break. Even if you disagree with him on some things, I think he brings up some interesting information regarding the commodity markets not responding to this hurricane event.

    I think the critics have a point. Maybe some posters have been a bit hasty in predicting widespread damage to Oman's energy infrastruture or $100 oil as the result of shipping delays.

    No one here really knows what the delays will be or their significance. The most that can be said about it as of today: it will be interesting if we get to find out.

    And I do see an analogy to the discussion here before Memorial Day. How many people have stepped up and admitted they were openly panic-mongering in advance of the holiday weekend? Don't get me wrong, it's wildly entertaining, and I'm really looking forward to the June 29 Drumbeat.

    A bit of reality for those who want to dismiss this storm.

    As a long time follower and poster on TOD this situation strikes me as very similar to Katrina and Rita.

    At that time those of us who understood Hurricanes and the projected path warned others that bad things were going to happen. There were very specific predictions and warnings of what was to come. TOD posters brought an enormous range of skills and background to bear on the problem.

    Predictions included (but were not limited to) broken undersea pipelines, damaged loading facilities, ships aground, no electricity, wind damage to everything to some extent, roads washed out causing much longer delays for repairs, and most importantly displaced people who were supposed to be repairing the damage.

    Many people scoffed and said it was "all built to withstand the storm" and that damage would be minimal. Before and immediately after landfall, as the storms downgraded near the coast, the press and government announced that we had escaped major damage. For 48 hours they reported this, because the damage was so severe that no reporting could get out of the damaged areas.

    Days, weeks, and months later the predictions from this site were proven to be very accurate. Many underground mudslides destroyed undersea infrastructure. Rigs and drilling vessels were damaged, some beyond repair. Shorelines were rearranged and facilities near shore suffered extensive damage requiring years of repair.

    Oh, and lots and lots of people died because they didn't think it would be that bad so they didn't leave soon enough.

    Lets wait and see who has the most accurate predictions. The scientific minded posters on this site or the government and oil trader pundits quoted in the press today.

    Bingo. And that's why we're working so hard on this, NC.

    Let's be clear on something. The keypost is reporting the facts--and we have asked our readers to contribute information germane to the discussion of this topic.

    Yes, right now, sure--this comment thread is a series of thought experiments, analysis, and conjecture. That's what intellectually curious people capable of critical thought do, last I checked.

    This will be an empirical question soon enough--and this all might well have been a waste of fact, it is truly my hope that no one suffers because of these events, that Gonu hits somewhere that doesn't matter, and all remains well...

    That being said, I think it is quite responsible to attempt to assess the risks and outcomes prior to their occurrence by accumulating as much germane information from as many perspectives as possible.

    Yes, exactly. The facts to date:

    - a category 2/category 1 storm aimed at a stretch of the Oman Gulf coast of Oman with the potential to cause *some* level of damage to a small percentage of Oman's energy infrastructure.

    - a predicted track aiming a tropical storm at the southern coast of Iran with the potential to cause *some* level of damage to a small percentage of Iran's energy infrastructure. (Edit: has this changed - the track is now for a tropical storm aimed through the strait?)

    - an as-yet unquantified impact on oil shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

    - oil markets have responded to this information.

    It is not a fact, for example, that oil markets have responded inappropriately to this information, that oil prices will hit $100, or that Oman's oil infrastructure will be swept into the gulf of Oman. That is the very definition of "idle speculation."

    I have a feeling we shall read about a very dire situation in Oman in about 36 hours. Gonu has the potential to drop 10 years worth of rain in a 72 hour period, from Ra's al Hadd to Muscat and beyond. Thats 40 inches, I have seen more than 40 inches over 72 hours thrice in the Houston area in the past 28 years 79, 93, and 2001. As reported Gonu forward motion is now 7 Knts.

    And don't forget that tropical storm that dropped 40 inches on Alvin in 24 hours. Alvin is about 30 miles due south of Houston, 50 miles due north of the west end of Galveston Island and 20 miles west of Galveston Bay.

    As a life-long Gulf Coast Resident, I've learned no one is very good at predicting these types of storms. The slower they travel, the more potential for flooding, they can just stall out and rain. In Allison the tropical storm a few years ago in Houston, the thing oscillated back and forth for a couple of days and dropped 40 inches on the north-east side of downtown over 3 days. Stalled trucks were floating on the interstate!I had a friend whose car got stalled because of the flooded interstate 45. He had to swim out of his car in flood water. My only good advice, if you can't see top of the curb, don't drive into the water. I don't care if you have 4 wheel drive and are Aquaman. Find high ground-a couple of feet above the street will do-and park it. Go sit in a coffee shop and wait for the water to go down. Don't wade in the water, the current is stonger than you think and there might be any kind of trash out there. And the lesson from Katrina-don't fire your pistol to signal for help. Blackwater will shoot back and claim you are a sniper.

    43 to be precise. I remember the floods that year. It was bad in Angleton, but not quite that bad.

    My first year of college was spent at Alvin Community College; people there routinely describe events as being before the flood or after the flood. Downright Biblical.

    The problem is the timing actually. This will ripple out to effect gasoline imports into the US. At the moment timing is everything to keep the price of gasoline from going insane. This one storm may be sufficient to throw the monkey wrench into the global gasoline imports needed by the US.

    Just the uncertainty of oil supplies may be enough for some of the countries that are exporting gasoline to the US to hesitate. To me this is the minimal case and even its very worrying.

    Next at least for the US economy a gasoline crisis which not looks very likely will almost certainly cause even idiot Americans to pause in buying McMansions and its enough to convince more than a few people underwater on their home loans to default and of course pause SUV purchases.

    We slam the MSM for being to rosy but they understand well that psychology plays a huge role in consumption.

    Overall I feel that this one blow will be enough to push the US housing market over the edge. Its all about rates and this is enough to increase the foreclosure rate by say 5% which will ripple out. In the shape we are in a pause caused by uncertainity is enough. Also of course I think you will soon see even the dumbest American is going to realize that all is not well so the ability of further spin to hide the truth will be weakened.

    Overall I feel that this one blow will be enough to push the US housing market over the edge. Its all about rates and this is enough to increase the foreclosure rate by say 5%...

    By that rationale one could argue that the FED will NOT
    increase rates and that would cause the dollar to slide
    against other currencies. This may cause the price of
    oil to rise regardless of supply and demand issues.

    I actually am a bit contrariety on that issue and think the feds will increase interest rates if you read what they write that have tried several times to talk up a rate hike even as the economy tanks. I'm actually surprised they did not push in one more rate hike. Once flooding the world with debt fails to work i.e the stock market starts going down and the dollar starts sliding I actually think they will move to game B which is to ratchet up the Fed fund rate. This will keep the Government flush with cash for a bit longer. Then and only then will they drop interest rates. The reason I say this is
    their is no shortage of money today you can still borrow as much as you want generally with the Yen carry trade as the background reason so lowering rates no longer act as economic stimulus but will potentially force the US Government into default. So I really believe the Fed will do the opposite of what most people think and use the price inflation from the falling dollar to initially ratchet up rates are at least not lower them keeping the inflow of capitol. Only once this game no longer works will they actually drop rates and effectively kill the dollar.

    So overall its the flow of funds into the Federal government over the next 18 months that will probably drive the feds policy they will do whatever it takes to keep the money flowing regardless of the state of the economy. Since I think the rest of the world is finally ready to start rate hikes in earnest I expect the same here although the dollar may continue to weaken somewhat relative to other currencies I don't think hyper inflation is coming yet. Massive asset deflation and imported/commodities price inflation will probably continue.

    '*some* level of damage to a small percentage of Oman's energy infrastructure'

    Not quite right - all oil is exported from a single terminal, which seems to have been in the direct path of Gonu - information I posted above. Personally, I doubt that facility is in very good shape right, especially as it storm surge which will likely make a true mess of the pipeline/loading infrastructure.

    'an as-yet unquantified impact on oil shipping through the Strait of Hormuz'

    No large tanker has been sailing through there for at least 48 hours, I am very, very certain. And I remain fairly confident that no large tanker will sail for at least another 24 hours. And don't forget, this delay is two sided - full tankers are not delivering, and empty tankers are not being loaded - the disruption is a bit more significant than just a few days. The ports have restrictions as to how much crude can be loaded - it isn't possible to just decide to load 8 empty tankers in 6 hours.

    As for damage to the shipping channel - we'll see, won't we?

    This is a much more significant short-term disruption than supposedly smart and informed people seem to be able to grasp. I don't know why - we have a lot of experience of what hurricanes do to oil infrastructure. Except this time, it is in a region which never gets hurricanes.

    If the TOD analysis of this storm is shown to be overblown and hyped, that will reflect VERY badly on the recent in-depth TOD analyses of Saudi Arabia's current production/reserves situation.

    In fact, the apparent hope of many that this storm will be another Katrina is rather disturbing.

    If this mindset extends to the core Peak Oil "theory", then perhaps any pessimistic projections about Energy Descent are simply wishful thinking by those who need something extra to invigorate their lives?

    I'll bet that felt good, didn't it?

    Oh please...get out of the pulpit.

    TOD KSA anaylsis stand by itself as first-rate work. This is a quickie if you will, by comparison. I think its rather good considering that we've only been on this 1-2 days, this thing came like a bolt out of the blue. Evenon TOD NOBODY every thought a CAT 5 cyclone would head up the gulf. THis has NEVER happened as far as we know. Its normal for people to get a little excited and maybe go a bit overboard but this IS a big event. I think the people that lose credibility ar the ones who go HO Hum, another cyclone in the gulf, no big deal. These are the same kind of people who got stuck in New Orleans in 2005.

    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

    And I quote myself from the comment just above yours:

    Let's be clear on something. The keypost is reporting the facts--and we have asked our readers to contribute information germane to the discussion of this topic.

    Yes, right now, sure--this comment thread is a series of thought experiments, analysis, and conjecture. That's what intellectually curious people capable of critical thought do, last I checked.

    This will be an empirical question soon enough--and this all might well have been a waste of fact, it is truly my hope that no one suffers because of these events, that Gonu hits somewhere that doesn't matter, and all remains well...

    That being said, I think it is quite responsible to attempt to assess the risks and outcomes prior to their occurrence by accumulating as much germane information from as many perspectives as possible.


    Agreed -- I need 100% accurate analysis of unique events -- or I'LL ASK FOR MY MONEY BACK!

    send me an address, I'll send you your check for $0.00.


    If the TOD analysis of this storm is shown to be overblown and hyped...

    I think you may need to familiarize yourself a little more with the current global situation with oil supply.

    In a few months we will be entering a period when the IEA is expecting demand for crude oil to increase by almost 3 million barrels per day. There are doubts whether OPEC has the claimed spare capacity to meet this demand. On the latest figures Russia is showing worrying signs of diminishing production growth, and its export tax rose from June 1st which will discourage oil exports. North Sea production is in decline. Mexican production is in decline. Where are those 3 million barrels going to come from?

    Ordinarily, unless this storm system was going to impact the main oil terminals and platforms of the Gulf region, I don't believe it would have gained as much attention. But this is no ordinary situation. Just as an outage at a single refinery in the U.S. at present could have a very marked effect on gasoline prices, so can the loss of a few hundred thousand barrels per day of crude supply disproportionately affect crude prices. These apparently minor events, though not particularly momentous individually, are all chipping away at that supply of oil.

    Prices are set at the margin, but I think you know that. And I also think you know why this storm is being discussed at length here.

    well, we'll see whose right. I hope I am; people tend to die in these things, something you guys seem to forget. Or ignore.

    Teclo from dug up this link. Reports from Oman.

    As per the latest information from ROP Public Relations Administration, sea water intruded to houses of citizens at Ras Al-Had in the Sharqiyah region and caused Wadi Al-Aijah and Wadi Bani Jabir to overflow. Power supply to some areas in the wilayat of Sur were disconnected. Also, the LNG and fertilizer facilities were shutdown in Sur. Fixed communication equipment at the wilauyat of Ja’alan Bani Bu Hassan and the Niyabat of Al-Ashkharah were disconnected.

    In the Governorate of Muscat, waves rose at Shatti Al-Qurum and along the coast towards Al-Azaibah and Seeb coasts, as well as the wilayat of Qurayat. As a result sea water reach the land at Al-Hajir area by 300 meter, as well as to the Al-Bustan area.

    "Late Tuesday, Cyclone Gonu, packing winds of 120 miles (193 kilometers) per hour, was churning northwest through the Indian Ocean about 265 miles (427 kilometers) southeast of Oman's capital, Muscat, according to meteorologist Lisa Wieser. Rain from its outer edges was already reaching some coastal areas, though the storm was weakening as it roared through an area with shallower water and drier air. (Watch as cyclone moves in on Arabian Peninsula )

    Gonu is predicted to brush by the east coast of Oman and curve to the north, toward southeastern Iran, but there was the chance that Cyclone Gonu COULD TAKE A NORTHWESTERLY TRACK toward the United Arab Emirates and into the Persian Gulf, Wieser said."

    Things could get bad.

    Some photos of the sand blown up:

    Those structures do not look like they would survive hurrican force winds. The top down views of Sur on weather underground look like mud brick adobe construction for many houses.

    Probably take the paint off before flattening them completely. Talk about a sand blaster!

    Days of Shipping Delay ?

    It would be worthwhile to estimate that.

    When did the shipping in and out of the Straits of Hormuz slacken (not the last daring captain, but the prudent ones decided to slow engines or drop anchor) ?

    Using GMT/Zulu time.

    June 3 12Z ? A better time & date ?

    And when will traffic return to normal ?

    June 8 6Z ? Any better Guesses ?

    I assume that all tankers inside the PG will be loaded by June 8th and waiting in queue.

    Tankers outside the PG waiting to get in are perhaps 24 hours steaming to get to Ras Tanura and 28 hours to Kuwait, Iraq and Iran's Kharg Island. Is that a good guess ? Add a 5 hour turnaround for the first to berth ? And then a return trip to the Straits, where the queue will have emptied out the day before (my guess).

    How long will be the wait between the last tanker "trapped" in the PG to steam out and the first Upper Gulf inward bound tanker to return to the Straits of Hormuz ? Perhaps a day ?

    Traffic will be back to normal by June 11 12Z under this scenario (except at recieving ports).

    Tankers have "elasticity of supply" by steaming faster (more oil burned) but I think that they were hustling fast even before Gunu. Any insight there ?

    And any word of KSA using their pipeline to the Red Sea more than normal ?

    I am just trying to set the parameters of the debate (perhaps a separate thread ?)


    Alan. There is the question of whether the shipping lanes will be clogged and have to be dredged out.

    One of the latest predictions has Gonu making landfall in Oman near Sur.

    For a good look at the Qualhat LNG terminal, go to Google Maps and type in the following coordinates:

    22.65N, 59.42 E

    It looks like the entire terminal is likely be inundated by the forecast storm surge.

    The EIA provides a description of Oman's Natural Gas resources which includes the following:

    Natural gas production in Oman stood at 607 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2004, up more than three-fold since 1999. Oman consumed 239 Bcf of natural gas in 2004, with LNG exports of 324 Bcf. Nearly two-thirds of Oman’s LNG exports went to South Korea, while the remainder went to Japan, Taiwan, Spain, France, and the United States. Oman also pipes some natural gas exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), although it has plans to import natural gas in the future.

    It looks like South Korea is going to be the big loser if Qualhat is shut down for any length of time. What part of the South Korean economy depends on LNG imports? That's where we'll see longer term impacts.

    -- Jon

    from here:

    and a weather forecast for Muscat here:

    which says:

    84 °F / 29 °C
    Mostly Cloudy
    Humidity: 89%
    Dew Point: 81 °F / 27 °C
    Wind: 8 mph / 13 km/h / 3.6 m/s from the NNW

    Pressure: 29.53 in / 1000 hPa (Falling)
    Heat Index: 98 °F / 37 °C
    Visibility: 5.0 miles / 8.0 kilometers
    UV: 0 out of 16
    Clouds: Few 1500 ft / 457 m
    Scattered Clouds 2500 ft / 762 m
    Mostly Cloudy 9000 ft / 2743 m
    (Above Ground Level)

    New models run at 4p EDT increases the damage numbers:

    KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 25-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 15-20 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards.

    Looks like the and FoxNews have finally found this story:

    "Powerful cyclone takes aim at oil-rich Persian Gulf"
    It was in the ticker but is now buried a little on the CBC site... but their information is sufficiently "worried" sounding.

    Fox takes the cake though... it's blasted right on the frontpage.
    "Iran in Eye of a Storm"
    Thousands flee ahead of massive Cyclone Gonu
    Tehran posts storm warnings, Oman evacuates low-lying coastal areas; year's worth of rain could flood region in a day"

    and as a stringer... Ahmadinejad: It's 'Too Late' to Stop Iran's Nuke Program

    It's the RECKONING!

    comedy gold...

    edit: both stories are from the same Associated Press release... only the headlines are different.

    Drudge had a big picture of the cyclone heading into the gulf and you could see KSA as well. Shortly took out pic and just left a headline buried down the page.

    Don't wnat to scare the folks now....

    Fox just wants to push the "Get Iran" theme.

    No one in the MSM is thinking about how this will really SCREW up oil production. iwould bet that after 6 days of no oil coming out of the gulf some countries are going to run out. KSA has been reducing shipment all years so some of these countries have probably already drqwn down reserves, now this.

    Anyone know what the Asia reserve situation looks like?

    Bear in mind that the gap in oil and LNG tankers is slowly moving away from the PG at 400 miles per day or so. Until the gap reaches the intended market, it is business as usual. When the first tanker fails to appear, the MSM will suddenly notice the problem.

    But is it a _fact_ that tankers aren't getting through now? It sounds like at least one went straight through the storm. Are we just assuming that shipping has stopped and can't get around the storm, or is it verified that all shipping has stopped?

    And, can tankers go faster if they need to, and thus reduce the size of the gap?

    Speaking with a limited amount of fishing experience at sea. Ships, large and small, have a cruising speed where they run most effeciently. This is probably 70-80% of their top speed. So yes the tankers could make up some time, but not a whole lot. And they need to take into account how much fuel they need to carry in order to get to their destination. I have no idea what sort of contingency they have in terms of fuel. But I'm willing to bet they'd rather carry more oil to sell, than fuel to burn... timing be damned.

    And I imagine, unless the waves get above the 15-20 meter mark, I bet those super tankers could take it. They'd be moving... certainly not standing still. Best on any vessel is to take the waves of your quarter bow (front quarter).. so if that means heading back towards shelter, or pounding your way through to your destination, that's the safest decision that has to be made.

    The new projected path of the storm takes it through Muscat and Bandar Abbas--Chuck also says Gonu is not weakening as much as forecasters may have expected.

    Just FYI...

    Stuart discussed Bandar Abbas a bit here in this comment:

    I told you so. Pass Oman and take a left, don't stop till you get to Bandar.

    The US is juicing this storm and taking it to the heart of Irans export business. This will be interpreted as and act of war.

    Iran isn't stupid. They know the odds of a GIANT cyclone heading up the straits and scoring a hole in one on their facilities are almost 0. Or were until the US started preparing for war a couple of years ago.

    Poor Oman is just collateral damage.

    Remember, the USAF stated that it will own the weather by 2025, it looks like they have made some progress.

    Sorry, Korg, didn't know you had cornered the market for tinfoil... :D

    Franc (penguinzee)

    That's not the Bandar I want gotten.
    But he's usually in Washington hobnobbing with the Bushes.

    Let me try...

    GONU = *G*eneral *O*bliteration *N*ATO *U*berweapon

    (we could start a contest - Vote for Mine!)

    While we should be thankful to the folks at KAC/UCF for providing us with the output from their models (free, gratis and for nothing) I have to say I’m not sure they pass the smell test AT ALL – the storm surge prediction shows a max of 1-2 metres along the North-east coast of Oman and less than a metre anywhere else??? This doesn’t seem to be consistent with a hurricane that was previously a Cat 5 pushing into a sharply narrowing strait with a rising seafloor. Does anybody else think this looks odd?

    Prof G. – what does your weather nerd sense tell you? ☺

    Hello TODers,

    In my post yesterday I worried about hurricane damage to desalination plants in Oman and elsewhere. A quick glance at the CIA Factbook says these ME countries are highly reliant on these facilities because of brackish inland aquifers, very little rain, and most people prefering to live near the beach. The exact %'s now maybe classified info by these various countries.

    A brief Google:
    Reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plants are used for supplying potable water to small communities in inland areas of Oman as well as small to large communities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Most of these desalination plants use brackish groundwater as feedwater. Ten small-scale desalination plants in the interior parts of Oman and eight RO plants in the coastal areas of the UAE were investigated with regard to their brine disposal methods. The capacity of the Omani plants varied from 50 m[3]/d to a maximum of 1000 m[3]/d. The depth to the water table in the areas of the investigated desalination plants varies from 40 to 80 m, while the average distance between feedwater intake and disposal areas was approximately 200 m. In the UAE, the capacities of the investigated plants varied between 950 to 15,000 m[3]/d. All the UAE plants dispose of their brine in the sea, although some of the plants dispose of their brine in nearby creeks that are linked to the sea. The chemical characteristics of the brine, feedwater, product water, and water from evaporation ponds (or bores) were determined. The presence of other chemicals including iron, copper, zinc, and cleaning agents (such as hydrochloric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, and anti-scalants) is likely to pollute the groundwater, if the brine were to reach the underlying aquifers. Under certain conditions, brine from the desalination plants can have useful applications. Potentials for such applications are addressed in this paper.

    The next link is dated 2003 info, so I don't know how much this precarious water situation has changed in the interim time period.
    The UAE is even more precariously placed. It ranks as the second most water-scarce country in the world after Egypt. Last summer, the BBC published a story online that Dubai had only two days of fresh water in reserve in the event of a breakdown in the water supply system.
    Let's hope Gonu doesn't screw up the potable water infrastructure.

    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yast?

    A blogger in Muscat doing regular storm updates:

    Nah, it's no big deal...

    MUSCAT, Oman (AP) -- Thousands of people fled low-lying areas Tuesday as the strongest cyclone to threaten the Arabian Peninsula in 60 years barreled toward the oil-rich Persian Gulf -- with southern Iran next in its path.

    From that link:

    Manouchehr Takin, an analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, said the real fear is that the loading of tankers might be delayed by the storm.

    "About 17-21 million barrels a day of oil are coming out of the Persian Gulf. Even if only some of the tankers are delayed that could reduce the supply of oil and increase prices," Takin said.

    What am I missing here?

    Several reports have suppliers still loading vessels, but isn't in obvious that no ships can be coming in or going out for about another 48-72 hours. Isn't that a delay?

    Frustrating, but I guess we should get used to it, as the impact of PO is further disguised by other news events in the future. I wonder sometimes if we will ever see an admission of a problem.

    What reports? Highly doubtful.

    Yes, I agree. The reports are in today's drumbeat. Validity - no clue.

    Like I said, even if they load, who is going to drive a very expensive ship with an even more expensive cargo ($120 MM USD) into a Cat 1, 2 or ? Cyclone zone?

    Just fyi: "wilayat" means state in Arabic, and "wadi" means river. Sometimes those long Arabic names can get confusing.

    Math Time:

    6 days of no tanker traffic.
    8 tankers a day ( @~2million barrels each)
    48 tankers piling up outside the straits.

    It seems like a logistical nightmare to unravel to me.

    And what if Oman and Bandar are out of action for a time?

    That would be ~3MMBD off line, ouch!

    So we might get something like 17MMBD offline ffor 6 days and then 3 MMBD offline for an addition 15? days. What does that do to the oil market??? And we haven't even had a GOM hurricane yet.

    On another thought, how deep is are the straits at the narrow point and how deep do they need to be to pass tankers?

    The straits are at least 70m deep across most of the shipping channels, according to our DEM. Quick browse for Suez max tankers is 12 meters, VLCC's are 20 meters or so. My guess is that the giggest problem would be damage to navaids and communications; if the winds stay about 30 knots into the channel, those would probably be damaged.
    --Chuck Watson

    So then once this thing is past shipping will be able to resume normally?

    Hello Korg,
    An official in the ministry of transportation said, however that shipping was continuing through the strait.

    I have no way to verify this info.

    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    Its what they don't say. He just says shipping is continuing through the strait. Well sure it is. Who going to stop you if you want to go through the strait. But if you own a VLCC would you want it driving into a cyclone of any strength?? Those things are NOT designed for inclement weather of this type. No, I'll bet that no VLCC tankers have gone through the strait from yesterday and won't until Friday. 4-5 days.

    Exports, Exports, Exports

    My guess is that tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz accounts for around 30% to 40% of world oil exports.

    Yes, we always forget about Exportland. 40% of world export oil off the market for ~5 days. This can't be good for Asia or Europe. They will draw on stocks which means that we won't be able to count on them this summer. However, this may be a godsend for the KSA. It will totally obfuscate how much oil they are producing and give them a little breather from the world's magnifying glass. Why produce oil if you can't ship it?

    The bar graph above indicates the amount of oil shipped each day through Hormuz on the left and the amount through the E-W pipeline to Yanbu on the right (2003 EIA-USA).

    Since Oman was reportidely yet operating its terminal this morning, I am not convinced that all the shipping in the gulf was affected, even though some people have presented evidence that it is backed up behind the Straits of Hormuz waiting for better weather. Parts of the Arabian Sea were experiencing 30-40 foot waves. Boats were pushed up onto shore in Pakistan. Roads dissapeared in flash floods in Oman. Killer waves pounded sea walls outside of the rain bands. The lowest levels of US gasoline inventory in decades during May might follow the trend line to more problems ahead as there was a 2 million barrel US draw on total petroleum excluding the SPR reported last Wednesday or reverse into large builds through June.

    I have a feeling we shall read about a very dire situation in Oman in about 36 hours. Gonu has the potential to drop 10 years worth of rain in a 72 hour period, from Ra's al Hadd to Muscat and beyond. Thats 40 inches, I have seen more than 40 inches over 72 hours thrice in the Houston area in the past 28 years 79, 93, and 2001. As reported Gonu forward motion is now 7 Knts. When those wet, warm surface winds climb the 9000 foot mountains they will drop enormous amounts of rain. The rain will flow back to the coastal areas. I have a feeling it will not only be the wind or storm surge that wrecks havock on Oman, but simply flooding rains. A flash flood lasts much longer than a poor swimmer and it can be happening already.

    Alright folks.

    Place your bets. Throw down the dice. Place a wager. Give your coat to the lady and have a seat.

    I want some bouding intervals here, 90% confidence for high and low estimates. Can you do it? Lets get some predictions going.

    1.How many days total shipments out of the gulf will be affected? How much crude is this?

    2.What # of days will coastal terminals suffer from no transport in Oman, and Iran? What is the amount of oil which will not be pumped?

    3.How much in USD$$ will it cost for fixing everying up to a previous state?

    (my high estimates are really high, and represent the worst cases I can concievably link together.)

    My guestimates are:
    1. Low (5 days, 50 MillionBarrels)
    1. High (25 days, 250 MillionBarrels)

    2. Low Oman(10, 8 MillionBarrels)
    2. High Oman(45, 36 MillionBarrels)

    Low Iran ( 2 days, ??)
    High Iran ( 5 days, ??)

    3.Low (500 Million)
    3.High (10 Billion) (how much does dredging cost?) stands ready to help dumbfounded people when the ripples hit here!

    As for food... people are on their own.

    Let's take a look.

    The Persian Gulf has not been hit by anything like this since 1890. Nearly everything is built at sea level on the coast.

    This is Mina al Fahal, THE oil terminal for Oman.,+58.5&ie=UTF8&ll=23.631865...

    There are no seawalls.

    This will be swept by storm surge with projected track.

    Do you see any of this infrastucture surviving a hurricane?

    How long does it take to rebuild?

    What will it take to get workers and resources in here to rebuild?

    I just Google Earthed the north faceing coast line of Oman.

    Most of the Towns/Citys are build right on the coast. That's not the worse part. If you look at the terrain inland, most of the places are build on/in/around the months of normally dry river beds.

    Most of the roads crossing them don't have bridges, they just run across or thru the river beds.

    All that Rain!!!!!!!!!!


    Off Grid, Off Mainland, current profession:Beach Bum

    shipping appears to be continuing, at least the GRACECHURCH COMET (220m cargo), the IBN SINA (also >200m) and a couple of other ships on that website are shown to be slowly progressing around/past/through the storm. There is a break in the middle area where the storm was cat 5 a few days ago, but i haven't noted any of the ships reporting the same position a few days in a row.

    i'm sure there will be some minor delays, but i don't think it will be anywhere as bad as some people are making out (not counting the true reduction in exports due to any storm damage), but even 1 day exports not going through could be enough to make things interesting.

    Any VLCC's? They are real slow and would have to wait it out, they can't speed through like a container ship. Both of the above are container ships.

    The Phoenix Voyager (nee J. Bennett Johnston; a Chevron ship; >300dwkt / 2.2MMbbl loadout) reported in from just below the Straits about 14 hours ago:

    Dunno if it's headed in or out...

    Trailing a storm is fairly straightforward - but if the ship's destination is Oman, I don't think it will be loading any time soon.

    An unloaded tanker will float high, and have more speed available - plus, offloading from any damaged infrastructure into an undamaged floating storage area will make some problems less severe.

    It won't make any difference to exports from Oman, though.

    It is intriguing. It would be nice to have someone with merchant ship experience.

    Just can't imagine anyone wanting to sail thru that. But then again, I wouldn't want to fly into one either, and people do that too.

    You should look at the update times on these pages. The reported position for Gracechurch Comet is 36 hours old, and for Ibn Sina, 24 hours old. According to the historical position tables below the maps, both of these ships can move 400 nautical miles in 24 hours. Those ships are probably some ways away from Gonu right now.

    I don't think that this is a big energy story. The real story here is likely to be the death toll due to flash flooding. The terrain of Oman looks to be fairly mountainous and when the hurricane winds meet that then extreme rainfall is likely to result. Hurricane Mitch killed 10,000 with floods and mudslides when it passed over Honduras in 1998, and Jeanne killed 3000 people in Haiti in 2004.

    For energy I think that the loss of LNG exports is not that serious. There is plenty of NG in US storage and we can easily cut back on our LNG imports and send some cargoes elsewhere. Losing the oil is more of a problem but OPEC can increase their production in order to make up for that and stocks can be run down a little.

    Most of Iran's oil and gas production is at the other end of the Persian Gulf so that is not likely to be affected.

    This storm would become a big energy problem if it went into the Gulf or if a sunken ship were to block the Straits of Hormuz, but the odds are against that happening.

    I disagree with everything you said, except the tragedy of loss of life from flooding and northern Iran will not be affected (who said it would?).

    Of course we have enough NG inventory. We always do in June. So what? Natural gas inventories are already well below last year's levels - and that's with record amounts of LNG imports this year. At this point, the US can not afford to lose any of those imports if the next one or two winters turn out to have below normal temperatures.

    Not just a below normal winter, an above temp summer in the NE could drive electricity/AC cooling demand to draw down stocks.

    NG, no worry he says,.. then why is the price rising now.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    US NG storage is at very high levels for this time of year and the builds are coming in big.

    Yes, a below normal winter might cause problems but we haven't seen one of those for several years, probably due to global warming.

    Are you sure that OPEC can just increase production at a moments notice?

    Losing the oil is more of a problem but OPEC can increase their production

    Highly doubtful. KSA is the unknown, but no one else has any significant spare capacity. Per articles here, KSA is "teetering" on the edge of permanent decline. Tankerage to move more oil is also lacking (of course Oman bound tankers can go on into the Gulf).

    The Omani exports will be off-line for weeks or months during a period when more oil production is needed. This is almost a given (confirmed tomorrow or the day after).

    Flash flooding will affect oil support infrastructure (including personnel). Pipelines and electrical towers can be lost or damaged. Roads can be washed out, etc.

    Relief should focus on people and their basic needs rather than (like the US under GWB) giving oil supply infrastructure gov't priority.

    Something like 75 million barrels of oil shipments will be lost, and make-up will be quite slow. This will disrupt refinery operations, particularly in Asian refineries (source of US West Coast gasoline imports as well as local demand).

    Please note that the recent slowing in forward movement and longer path to land will "bottle up" the PG longer than the earlier path.

    Destruction of navigation aids may slow Straits of Hormuz navigation after Gonu to below demand for an extended period (fairly good probability IMHO).

    Iranian refineries may be damaged, reducing global capacity.

    I see US gasoline prices spiking to $6 as a distinct possibility this summer.


    well in the grand scheme of things Alan, $6 gasoline would be a good thing - people would feel like a sabretooth tiger was drooling on their porch and would dang well start to deal with it...

    I'm not so sure about that. The media will just tell them its temporary, just a hurricane. There's plenty of oil out there just sit tight and it'll be back to 25 dollars a barrel in no time.

    Those hummer owners will just sit this out waiting for their cheap gas to return.

    The only way you can get people to change is to tell them its permanent.

    This might just be the worst of both worlds. The economic effects of high oil/gas prices without the incentive to change consumer habits.

    OPEC cut production sometime last winter so they should be able to step it up again. That won't leave much room for anything else to go wrong and the replacement oil will probably be of lower quality than the lost Omani production. I think that Omani oil is a little lighter and less sour than what the Saudis produce.

    It is possible that OPEC will just sit back and let the price rise. They are never in a hurry to raise production and it might take $80 Brent to get them to move.

    In past years, gasoline prices have tended to peak in May and then decline. $6 is less likely than you think. $4 is a distinct possibility.

    No opinion at this point on the energy impact, but I'm beginning to get a gnawing feeling that the flooding situation has the potential to be catastrophic:

    6"+ over essentially the entire NE section of Oman, and the forecast above doesn't seem to take into account the unique orographic forcing situation the coast will be facing. The storm is rapidly presenting a better IR face, especially in the NE/NW quadrants. The track will take the storm very slowly up the coast with winds streaming over a long fetch of (for now) 33C water and then immediately hitting a wall of 1000m to 3000m of relief oriented almost optimally to pull absurd rainfall amounts out over a region which drains to the coast through narrow washes:

    A common characteristic of landform development in extremely arid areas like NE Oman is that a large percentage of mass movement occurs in a very few catastrophic events. Look at the Google Earth imagery for a while and you can spot plenty of deposition fans which, given the modern climate, may very well have been laid down in a (relatively) few very high energy transport events, like the one most likely coming up over the next few days.

    As a case in point, take a look at the delta which Daghmar sits on:

    Daghmar, Oman

    If you zoom in across the delta, you can see that it is fairly densely settled, and that the roads that cross the various branches of the drainage across the delta are not on bridges! The gray, sinuous feature is a wash which drains a huge area of totally non-vegetated mountains. This is what it looks like up close:

    If this turns out to be a 1000-year precipitation event, which strikes me as possible, that wash will be 20' deep or more in water flowing very, very fast, and the delta will be drastically reshaped.

    We can only hope that the rainfall amounts predicted simply don't materialize... or that the hydrological characteristics of the region differ drastically from what the landforms suggest...

    Just to follow up on this a bit more -- the likelyhood of channel hopping or significant delta reworking is increased by any storm surge present, because raising the elevation of the sea decreases the drop from the canyon outlet across the delta, removing barriers to channel hopping in the process.

    Hello BostonGeologist,

    Big Thxs for this report & photos--lots of drywashes in Arizona can look like this after a severe rainfall.

    Many people have no idea what a severe flashflood can do in a desert. You can actually hear huge boulders rolling and smashing in the heavy flows, then the wash will be bone dry again in less than 24 hours, many times in less than eight hours.

    I used to do quite a bit of offroad motorcycling adventuring. Some washes, over the years, will grow fairly sizable scrubtrees and bushes if relatively light rainfall only occurs. It makes the ride more curvy, swervy fun dodging around these obstacles.

    But after a heavy rainfall in one small watershed: Everything was Totally Gone, even a lot of the sand. Rocks of all sizes everywhere. Horseshoe Lake [normally very low or even empty most of the time for flood control purposes] was totally filled with very muddy water in just a few hours, and the surface was covered with a thick layer of crushed woodpulp and branches. If my memory is correct: the newspaper put the flood at over twenty feet high from 4 inches of rain in two hours.

    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    I love this website.
    Im now addicted to gardening, coffee and the oildrum.

    Oh and oil too.

    Thanks for this info.

    This thread is getting old, you may want to consider reposting this on the (I expect) new thread in the morning.

    If I understand what you are saying, the coastal plane at the foot of the mountains was formed by material deposited in events such as this?

    I hope people have gone to the highest ground they could access. I have to wonder how much shelter has been built on the mountainsides, rather than on the plain.

    In other words, as we speak the eastern section of Oman is being slowly scrubbed off the face of the planet.


    Thanks, BostonGeologist.

    Fascinating perspective on what could become a major event.
    I hope this is not a redundant post!

    Also, I love the discussion on this site so much I decided to register. Lets hope this cyclone has a minimal impact on life in the region and on shipping lanes and infrastructure.

    Welcome ZerOnerve;
    Good fresh update. Clips from your article.

    Manouchehr Takin, an analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, said the real fear is that the loading of tankers might be delayed by the storm."About 17-21 million barrels a day of oil are coming out of the Persian Gulf. Even if only some of the tankers are delayed, that could reduce the supply of oil and increase prices," Takin said.

    Even with the weaker wind speeds, Gonu is expected to be the strongest cyclone to hit the Arabian Peninsula since record keeping started in 1945. The steadily weakening storm was still packing sustained winds of 92 mph with gusts of up to 115 mph and churning up ocean waves as high as 35 feet, civil defense officials and forecasters said.

    Heavy rains pelted Muscat Wednesday morning and streets were empty, blogger Vijayakumar Narayanan told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Everyone is cocooned in their houses. ... Shops and businesses are closed," said Narayanan.. "it was raining cats and dogs" and many city streets were flooded.

    Quoting "Vanquish" on (8:50am Oman Time):

    "News Alert from Oman TV:

    ROP is urging all residents of Muscat to seek shelter on higher grounds away from wadis and not to leave home."

    Probably contradictory advice for many :( If the Wadis in Muscat are flooding already (as other comments on suggest) the situation down the coast and later in the day looks sketchy.

    As people above have noted, the Omanis have NO idea what they are dealing with here. Christ, its never happened before so who could blame them. They are going to watch a whole hell of a lot of their country be destroyed and it will be the stuff of legend for many centuries to come.

    Iran will be next but they have the ability and the will to retaliate against us. War by the end of the week. So sad.

    BBC seems to have an updated report:

    "An unusually powerful cyclone has begun battering the coast of Oman with winds of 160mph (260 km/h) and large waves."

    "BBC Gulf correspondent Julia Wheeler says Gonu is bringing both strong winds and waves of up to 12m high (36ft)."

    New Gonu Thread on front page as of 2am, 6/6. Please place all new resources and insights there if you would. Thanks!

    On kind of a "different" side - usually after heavy rains cultural artificats are unburied.

    I would guess there are a few archeaologists packing their bags.