Hurricane Dean Update and Resource Aggregation Post

Folks, thanks for your great efforts in this thread. There's a lot of cool stuff down there! Now, if we just knew where Dean was, continue linking to maps (esp. of Cantarell/Jack/Yucatan, but Texas and LA too), oil maps, NG maps, LNG stations, refinery maps, pipeline maps, shipping lanes, rig maps, news stories, weather, track predictions, strategic resources, and all that other stuff in this comment thread. Then I'll go through and start aggregating those for what looks more and more like it will be a very busy week next week. Ideas or assistance are always welcome. (New post on Dean as of 20:50 EDT 8/19 up top.)

Right click and click view image to see these full size, I want to keep them manageable for now.

If memory serves, Rita was initially projected to hit the Texas/Mexico border, and it ended up hitting close to the Texas/Louisiana border, so at this point I would think that the GOM assets are facing some very real potential risk.

I suspect that it is a question of when--and not if--that the the GOM assets get hit this hurricane season.

I'm no hurricane expert, but in the "what if" department, what if Dean does show the same kind of turn that Katrina and Rita showed:



Yep. It's going to be all about the "turning winds"...if Dean runs into a strong upper westerly (which is prevailing), then he'll turn...right now the shear forecast is relatively moderate, or so they're saying over at

Latest Dean thread:

On August 17, 1915 a hurricane blew into Galveston. The storm surge was 12 feet causing waves as high as 21 feet. The dead were numbered at 275 in Galveston.

The 1900 storm was much worse. Follow the link, read the story, look at the pictures BEFORE you consider staying in the path of a major hurricane, particularly in low lying coastal areas. We have done a lot to mitigate the affects of storms and storm surge, but please don't play chicken with a major hurricane.

EDIT: Wikipedia reference to the same storm

A Google earth mashup:

The green bars are representing 2005 oil production (blue bars for gas production). Click to Enlarge

The blue dots are representing the major oil platforms. Click to Enlarge

Those images were obtained using Google Earth using the tools given here.
I plan to add refinery positions soon.

For those not familiar with Google Earth it might be helpful to include some info on how to view the data. It's not immediately obvious what to do with a "KMZ" file, and finding the relevant info on the Google Earth website takes quite a bit of hunting and clicking. Here's a hint: don't download the kmz file to your computer, it's meant to be used as a network link.


That's incredible Khebab.

Dean is moving further and further south:


One of my favorite sites,, has posted a Dean update.

Dean Preparing to Strengthen Significantly

The latest model runs continue to show astounding congruity between the models, tracking Dean almost on top of each other WNW directly over Jamaica until just south of the Caymans where they begin to diverge with some models bringing Dean over the Yucatan and some bringing him in a more Wilma/Ivan track between Cuba and the Yucatan and into the central Gulf of Mexico. Our ability to predict beyond 3 days (beyond just past Jamaica) is very suspect though, as there are many variables that we just cannot control. All interests in the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida should keep a close watch on Hurricane Dean.

If, as currently indicated, Dean tracks directly over Jamaica, we will have to reevaluate everything. Jamaica has quite large mountains in the center of the island and Hurricanes do very poorly when passing over high elevations. Jamaica could do quite a number on our storm and knock his strength down significantly with the right conditions.

It looks like everything is coming down to what happens around Jamaica. If it stays on course and plows right into the center of the island, that will dampen the intensity considerably, and that will also mean that the GFDL model track probably won't be "it". On the other hand, if the track nudges just a bit farther north, then it will roar right through the Yucatan straight and into the GOM, maybe as a Cat 5.

A lot of fate will be haning on the forecast updates over the next 24-48 hours.

This is a good site with blog to keep up with the latest news about Dean and the other storms that will likely follow this season:

WunderGround Blog

And ofcourse the National(USA) Hurricane Centre

Roger From The Netherlands

1:52 update courtesy TWC - winds now 125MPH!! badbadbad...

Yeah.. allready a CAT. 3 hurricane and still a lot more to come.

Roger from the Netherlands

For the "quick and easy" crowd you really can't beat the Tropical Storm Risk site The pages load fast and are extremely easy to navigate, just click on the map to drill down into specific storms and forcast locations.


Mexican off-shore field locations, including Cantarell:


Dear Consume More:

Excellent site. I never knew it existed. After poking around for a bit on their site, I found this detailed pdf map of US Gulf oil/gas fields/pipelines and who operates them.

Let your views be known:

As noted by local meteorologists in New Orleans (whom I trust more than the Feds), the key point is the interaction of the Blue Mountains of Jamaica with Dean. 7.400' tall but small surface area, they can violently disrupt a hurricane and the interaction is not properly modeled.

A small displacement in the path can change the interaction from leading side (bad side) to eye to trailing side (good side). Good sized mountains in Hispaniola as well as some moderate size mountains in Eastern Cuba (the rest of Cuba and Yucatan is relatively flat).

Monday we will know more & better,

Best Hopes for the Blue Mts,


A useful graph for understanding the uncertainty in predictions and the past accuracy of forecasts.

Basically if the track comes within 300km of something important, 72 hours out - worry.

Typical 'Texas as target' dimension = 300km

Where do you get this information? I'm curious to see the correlation between storm speed and the daily drift (assume max turn is 100km/24 hours). I'd also like to see something showing storm speed over its total track.

This one is short on detail but nice to show the little folks & laymen.

Click on the graph for a link to the source - UK Met Office

Well, it's still way early but this is the latest run of the GFDL tracking model on Dean. Important to note that it is currently the eastern most outlier on projected path. But, this would put Dean near the center of the production assets and more bad news to folks in Louisiana.

click the fwd button on right side

and that is almost EXACTLY the worst case scenario damage-wise...a Cat 5 at that angle hits just about everything important and puts us in bad shape for a while.

Chuck Watson has been mentioning just this kind of scenario, by the way...but it's early days on this thing.

We would need to see gasoline rationing if this scenario comes to pass wouldn't we? I mean the refineries all get hit, platforms, etc. This could be the straw the breaks the camels back and sends the US back to third world status. Am I being unduly alarmist?

'sends us to third world status;

Yes quite alarmist. Katrina destroyed a large American city and oil rigs, yes gas was expensive for a couple months but other than that most never noticed.

by the way solardude, did I find your picture online?

Things are quite a bit tighter than they were two years ago mr. antidoomer. Where do suppose those missing barrels are going to come from now?

Im not saying gas wont' get expensive, it will, and it might be a little tight. But to say the US will become a third world country because of a hurricane is quite fanatical.

It was/is a serious question. Can the US economy withstand a Cat5 hurricane right through the heart of its oil and gas infrastructure right now? I'm not so sure the answer is yes.

Don't worry the Fed will loan money to banks to cover the withdraws to buy that expensive gasoline <:/

Yes, it will send the US back to the third world. I suspect Iran and Africa would be the first places President Kaboom visits.

Holy crap. That really looks like the worst case scenario for NOLA.

It is fast moving and that minimizes the storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain, the Achilles heel of New Orleans.

PLENTY of wind damage in New Orleans.

OTOH, you could expect widespread damage on the West Bank and failure of the Harvey Canal with flooding of Algiers and West bank Jefferson and Plaquemines Parish.

Much higher % white people there that vote Republican, so I would expect significantly faster relief this time.

Best Hopes for the Blue Mts. of Jamaica,


I asked about this earlier and haven't seen a response yet - do fast moving storms stay fast moving, or does their speed change over the course of their lifetime?

I recall in 2004(?) one storm (Ivan?) just squatted over Florida and unloaded, causing lots of flooding and wind damage.


Weak storms have a tendency to stall out and give up huge rainfalls . Tropical Storm Alison, the one that flooded so much in Houston five or six years ago caused a lot more flood damage than Hurricane Rita, a category 5 the year before last. Bob Ebersole

Floyd was very slow moving, sat off the outer banks for 24 hrs. Very little wind damage, but so much rain pumped in that it put a considerable percentage of ENC under water.

Governor of LA is a democrat. The Governor is the only authority on deployment of State or National Guard assets for relief or any other reason.

Looks like the GFDL model has shifted the path to the south, making landfall right in the middle of Texas.

Some of the various models can be viewed here:

How oil prices are staying down today is baffling. Last year, if a CAT 3 was even thinking about Texas, prices on a Friday would have gone ballistic.

It's tempting to mortgage the house (if I could get a loan!!! :)) and buy more futures, but prudence forbids it.

Have a nice weekend everybody.

And would Prudence be the name of your wife?

I was thinking something along those lines when I wrote it.

Very astute.

There is a six week lead before the end of the quarter for hedge fund redemption. That was Wednesday. Anything that can be sold right now is being sold as they scramble to produce cash for nervous investors. Gold, silver, oil, etc, will retain value over the long haul, but right now a significant chunk of the big players are in total liquidation mode and its stomping commodities prices.

When you stated you couldn't get a loan, you answered your own question about how oil prices are staying down! Falling stock market, falling house prices, and falling economy will reduce oil demand.

This is from the EIA Hurricane analysis for 2007, showing historical production of oil and gas from the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil production seems to be about 1.4 million BPD; natural gas appears to be about 7.5 billion cu. ft. per day.

Interesting. NG never recovered. And it is down 45% or so in just 8 years. That's cheerful.

I would suggest that it did indeed recovery. Draw a curve over the peaks and it looks like it recovered back to the curve.

I understand what you're saying, though. It's hard to interpret as good news.

Thank god Canada isn't wasting all their natural gas trying to heat Alberta to 500 degrees. Oh, wait...

Despite the fact that we've been assured we're not into peak oil by Big Oil, there is that lumpy plateau from 2002 to 2005, then the slide begins.

Ah, its just regional, and a few poke holes in ANWR will fix it ... silly me.


Is Taiwan about to be hit with a Cat 3

I'm looking for a list of refinery positions around the gulf of Mexico (address or lat/lon coordinates), thanks!

An Arab sounding name and gathering information on energy infrastructure ... very interesting, very interesting. You weren't planning on flying anywhere ever again, were you?


I'm fairly new around here, but you're newer still. Khebab is a longtime key contributor to TOD. Perhaps you might to sit back and read a lot more before posting.

Check his link under Contributors on the right >>>>

Or click here:


I took CowTipper's comment as a joke...

Just a snarky comment on the paranoid delusions of the Bush administration - has nothing to do with Khebab's contributions here. Sorry if it came across that way ...

I think SCT's joking... :) Smiley faces SCT, smiley faces...

Hey guys,
How plausible would it be to configure oil rigs to pump up cool water from the floor of the gulf, in advance of a storm in order to weaken the storm...

Would it make sense to have a first line of defense in the gulf to change the surface temp?

We don't have that kind of energy. A big hurricane will cool surface temps somewhat, though not for long, and only along the track.

You can do a quick BOE calculation concerning the energy involved in the hurricane:

Condensing water vapor releases 2.5 x10^6 J/kg

Storm diameter 350 km (I chose this to make the square of the radius easy ;)), area = pi r^2 or 3.14 x ~30000 km^2 ~ 10^5 km^2 = 10^11 m^2.

Say an average of 10 cm rainfall in that area -> 10^10 m^3 water, at ~1000 kg/m^3 that's 10^13 kg. All from water vapor condensation, which releases 10^13 kg x 2.5x10^6 J/kg = 2.5 x10^19 J. 1 ton of TNT is about 4.2 x10^9 J, so that's the equivalent of about 300000 Nagasaki atomic bombs, if I did that right. Actually, typically only about 20% of condensation actually falls out, so multiply that by 5.

For a few days, only along the track.

350 km is actually small for a major hurricane, and 10 cm is also low -- scale up as required.

well, what if you concentrate on just one area, instead of figuring how much energy it would take to pull up 350 km of 10cm water, why not figure one fourth of that applied to the windward side only, and then how would you figure the adjustment, say if the water is currently at 87 degrees, and the gulf floor water was 47 degrees, how many gallons/rigs would be needed to lower the surface water temp by say 10 dgrees? I am not saying that this would eliminate the storm, just sort of bust its chops a bit.

I think you're also fighting gravity, not in just pumping it up, but keeping it up. Colder water will sink immediately in a thermosiphon as displaced and roiled warmer waters reclaim the top layer. The volumes involved and amount of surface area, (tho' I haven't done any calc's..) seems exceedingly out of bounds for an emergency preparation action.

No criticism for thinking about it though.. it isn't in ANY of my areas of specific knowledge either, so maybe I'm way off.



There is a fantastic amount of energy in a huge area in a hurricane,and we don't know enough about them anyway. If hurricane energies are ever altered it won't happen in our life times
Bob Ebersole

Made a mistake in the calculation -- it only applies to the storm at any given time, not for the actual track. Multiply by length of track ...

You could calculate the amount of energy necessary to pump up water from the depths, W = mgh

g = 9.8 m's^2
h = probably at least 200m, the warm pool is quite deep
m = here you'd need the mass of water, for which you'd need the heat capacity. But say replacing just the top 5m of water (which will immediately mix) is enough. Multiply by area to get volume, density of 1025 kg/m^3 to get mass. A band 1500 km (that's about 900 miles, maybe enough to create a narrow energy depleted barrier) by 100 km is 1.5x10^5 km^2 = 1.5x10^11 m^2 for a volume of 7.5 x10^11 m^3 -> 7.5 x10^14 kg (rounding down to 1000 kg/m^3)

So w ~ 1.5x10^18 J, assuming 5m of cold water is enough and it's cold enough at 200m. Water is heavy. As jokuhl says, you will need to pump this continuously as it will sink and be replaced by warm water from outside the band.

OTOH, hurricanes are big and not very sneaky. It's not like they don't give fair warning. And if you're going to live in the SE, this is a risk you take (I lived in CA for years, same with earthquakes -- except those don't give much warning)

Gov. Perry Declares Hurricane Dean Imminent Threat to Texas

Gov. Rick Perry today declared Hurricane Dean an imminent threat to Texas, initiating full-scale state hurricane preparedness efforts. Perry activated state resources, including search and rescue teams, as National Weather Service projections show Hurricane Dean could impact the Texas coast by the middle of next week.

...The Texas fuel industry has begun surging fuel loads to all coastal counties to ensure adequate fuel supply

Cities in North Texas are gearing up to handle possible hurricane evacuees.

I wonder if another bad hurricane season would be the final kiss of death for Gulf Coast real estate, because of a combination of a lack of buyers and a virtual inability to get insurance.

I've had no trouble getting both flood and windstorm in Galveston. It does cost a lot-about $1200 on my house- but getting its easy.

one of my sister heads the Texas Department of Health Emergency Preparedness for the Houston/Beaumont area. After the Rita fiasco the state has really stepped up preparations. Perry has actually done a good job with this. Its helped to have all the Homeland Security emergency services grants as well. What they've been doing is figuring out who heads what in which area-coordinating sheriff's departments with emergency rooms, that kind of thing. Hopefully if we get another big one this year things will go much more smoothly for stuff like nursing home evacuations Bob Ebersole

Chad Myers, CNN meterologist, just did the Hurricane Dean segment. They showed all the tracks, and they asked him, "Is there any one of those models you trust more than the others?"

He said there was, but he didn't want to say. But he eventually admitted that the one he trusted was "the one that goes straight to Louisiana." He said it's a higher resolution model than the others, whatever that means.

Over at NHC, someone said GFDL has a very good historical track record.


This is an independent product

This special update is to adjust the intensity forecast. Recon found 124KT at flight level, equating to 110KT at the surface, well above the previous forecast. The rainband pattern tends to favor an eyewall replacement and the aircraft reported a concentric eye; therefore, no intensification is expected in the first 12 hours, followed by a quick intensification to cat 4. It is possible that Dean could become a category 5 prior to impacting Jamaica. Cat 5 is now forecast for the NW Caribbean and cat 4 for the Gulf, primarily due to the increased intensity and expected favorable conditions.

The track forecast was adjusted slightly north as well due to the initial motion and forward speed was increased at 120 hours since 12Z guidance does not slow the storm quite as much.

All residents of northern Mexico and Texas should closely monitor the progress of Dean

Initial: 14.8N 63.6W 110KT
12 Hour: 15.6N 67.5W 110KT
24 Hour: 16.5N 71.2W 120KT
36 Hour: 17.4N 74.7W 130KT
48 Hour: 18.0N 78.2W 120KT (crossed Jamaica)
72 Hour: 20.0N 85.2W 140KT
96 Hour: 22.0N 91.2W 100KT (Crossed Yucatan)
120 Hour: 24.5N 96.0W 115KT (Gulf of Mexico)

Next Forecast: 0300 UTC

Forecaster: Ortt


Matt Simmons is featured in the second hour of tomorrow's Financial Sense interview, and I suspect that they probably talked about the hurricane, if you want to highlight it for tomorrow morning's Drumbeat. I think that they usually record it on Fridays, with the webcast being available on Saturdays.

He said there was, but he didn't want to say. But he eventually admitted that the one he trusted was "the one that goes straight to Louisiana." He said it's a higher resolution model than the others, whatever that means.

Over at NHC, someone said GFDL has a very good historical track record.

That's just what I was afraid of. I've had a bad feeling about this one, and that feeling just keeps getting worse.

Hang in there. A lot can change.

For what its worth, usually when we properly prepare, nothing happens. Then the next one gets us.


yeah and on the 5 side of 4. Gusts to 180. Kingston,Jamaica is really going to get slammed.


Infrared satellite movie every 6 hours:

Here is an animated grahics of Dean! pretty nice if I don't mind saying!

We shall see if Jamaica is really the pivot point on a slight turn to the right for Dean, then the GFDL model will be more validated, "Houston we have a problem!"

Groucho: You know I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world?
Woman: Really?
Groucho: No, but I don't mind lying if it gets me somewhere

Groucho Marx in A Night in Casablanca (Movie)

Please excuse my ignorance but is there something in the top right here or to the right here that should be at all concerning.

Yeah, more stuff forming east of Dean. If its like 2005 we should see a steady train of them marching across the Atlantic.

Its strengthening all the time, Cat 5 soon I should think, here is the 2am update:

Does anyone know how the hurricane path looks related to the location of the giant and massively expensive "Thunder Horse" BP rig?

The other question I have relates to timing. Is it not correct that a fair amount of oil production is now going to heating oil production in getting ready for winter and that most of the big gasoline refining season is over?

On natural gas, how does the timing of a possible big disruption in the Gulf relate to the natural gas "injection season" in preperation for winter? How far along are we in the injection season?

Thanks to the petroleum industry insiders with any information....:-)

Roger Conner Jr
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom


The Hurricane path is still far to uncertain to know, because the storm will take 5 days to reach the GOM oil rigs. Anything can happen with its path, from Mexico to even Florida. In 2-3 days we will know more.

Well, given the fact that the US only has 21 days of gasoline in storage, refining of gasoline will continue all winter long. So a direct hit on the Texas refineries will cause massive gasoline imports from Rotterdam again, just like with Rita.

The Underground Gas Storage facilities are all filled up to the brim right now. So the UGS-ses should keep the US humming for a while here..

Roger from the Netherlands

Roger from the Netherlands is right, its way too early for anyone but a psychic to know the landfall.Let's get out our crystal balls and Wizard hats!

What's worrisome about the chances of a hurricane sriking is not the danger to any one refinery, but rather that tanker traffic in the Gulf is going to be much delayed. The oil platform personel are likely being evacuated as we speak, and nobody takes a ship into a storm's path.

One of the big reason's US natural gas production has declined is the prohibition by the Feds of new natural gas fired electric power plants, which took effect in 1998, as I recall, plus the offshoring of much of our heavy industry. Gas prices have gone up from around $2.00-$2.50 a thousand cubic ft. (mcf) to around $6.00-$7.00/mcf. Oil is up from a low of $10/bbl then to the current $65-$75 range, about twice as much in the same period

Thunderhorse is about 150 miles due south of NOLA in the Greeen Canyon Area, also the brand new Independence Hub that delivers about 1 BCFPD (billion cubic feet of natural gas per day) from deepwater into the system. Also the Louisiana Ofshoore Oil Platform, LOOP, is in that neck of the woods and delivers oil from the biggest tankers into the Gulf Coast oil pipeline systems and will have to be shut down because of a storm.

Folks, just a reminder, this thread is going to have a ton of visitors not from the industry. As a curtousy, we need to spell out our acronyms, and possibly have the introductory Key Post link to the acronym list, Professor Goose. And visitor's, its OK to ask questions. Every industry has its own jargon, and figuring it out is one of the hardest things about looking at anybody's material. This site is great because we help each other with this kind of stuff, so ask questions.
Bob Ebersole


Are you absolutely sure on this prohibition?

the prohibition by the Feds of new natural gas fired electric power plants, which took effect in 1998, as I recall

First I heard of it.

I very well could be mistaken about new NG plants being prohibited, that's way out of my area in the oil and gas business, but I'll try to find it tomorrow. I do know here in Texas that only coal has been permitted in the last 10 years or so, and meanwhile wind is really growing very fast. TXU applied for permits for some 20 odd coal plants, then they were dropped back to three when the company announced it was going private. But now the going private plan has been squashed by the hedge fund collapse and TXU is, If I'm recalling right once again, past the deadline to apply for new coal permits plus under a new legislative mandate for 20% renewable. What's a poor old power company to do?

In TXU's defense, they have built more wind turbines than anyone else in the state , but they burn more coal than any other power company too, and thus more CO2, fine particulates and mercury. Bob Ebersole

I can see the stacks of this NG co-gen plant from my house. It's two years old.

There isn't a prohibition against growing natural gas fired electric generation.

Check the EIA site for planned generation in the following:

GA Power is converting a large coal plant in Atlanta suburb of Smyrna to Nat Gas. The plant is so large that they have to lay a big new pipeline for the gas - big fights from homeowners about pipeline cutting thru their neighborhoods.

Ah yes; The Nimby syndrome derails the best of plans. Guess they will just have to continue breathing coal exhaust. Oh, well.

Thunder Horse is SSE of the Mississippi Delta, and pretty well out of the currently projected path of Dean, according to this nice map (big PDF) that EntropyBrain linked:

Detail of the GOM offshore grid. You can find the Thunder Horse complex over in the southeast quadrant of the Mississippi Canyon region.

BUT Cantarell and associated Mexican fields in the Bay of Campeche look to be in the line of fire if most of the projections hold true. Let's hope the Yucatan Peninsula calms Dean down a bit, if he heads that way.

As of the 5 am report Dean's a borderline category 5 aimed straight at Jamaica. If this hits Jamaica harder than Ivan in 2004, it's going to be a catastrophe. Grand Cayman was also hit badly by Ivan.


I'm not sure if I have seen this link here yet:

It gives various options on satellite views of the atlantic.

Hurricane Dean approaches Category 5

HURRICANE Dean is expected to grow into a ferocious Category 5 storm as it passes Jamaica and nears Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the oil and gas rigs of the Gulf of Mexico after it smashed into several Caribbean islands, the US National Hurricane Centre said on Saturday.

With top sustained winds of 240km/h early today, the hurricane centre said Dean was a Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and capable of widespread destruction.

The hurricane centre said it was expected to strengthen to Category 5, with top sustained winds in excess of 250km/h, before plowing directly over Jamaica toward the Gulf, home to a third of US domestic crude oil and 15 per cent of natural gas production.

At 5am EDT (19:00 AEST) today, the hurricane centre said several consensus models saw the storm moving toward the northern Yucatan and northeastern Mexico, and the projected track was “nudged a little south of the previous forecast in best agreement with consensus models”.

A hurricane warning likely will be posted for Jamaica later today, it said. The core of the storm will pass south of the Dominican Republic later today and south of Haiti in the evening, it said. Dean roared through the narrow channel between the Lesser Antilles islands of St Lucia and Martinique early on Friday, crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the warm Caribbean Sea.

Dean's projected path would put it directly over Jamaica tomorrow and near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or straight into the Gulf of Mexico through the Yucatan Channel by Tuesday. If it crosses the Yucatan, it is projected to emerge in the southern Gulf and could disrupt operations in the Cantarell Complex of Mexican oil fields, which is one of the world's most productive and supplies two-thirds of Mexico's crude oil output.

Computer models have fluctuated between an eventual landing as far north as Louisiana, and Belize, at the southern end of the Yucatan, but began to shift generally more to the south late on Friday.


CAT 4 APPROACHING CAT 5 BY 2AM SUN MORNING. Current winds at 150MPH (CAT5 is 155+ so not far to go)

WOW! If DEAN threads the needle into the gulf and 90F waters...this is a unprecedented storm.

Currently still showing passing over the northern edge of the Yucatan, but at that strength it may spin/curve more to the north again.

Infracture maps and details

Please see
for quarterly results and discussion of production and refining

OilChica et al, my Spanish sucks. Can anyone put up some specific links from the site or link to some picasa/flickr images of their stuff?

Prof. Goose:

There are some great online translators. Try here:

Just plug in the Pemex URL, select Spanish to English and away you go. It will read a little like Tarzan is talking, but it is understandable.

Babel to like altavista's humor.

Let your views be known:

I tried that already...couldn't find many maps, etc., just stats and their from 06.

PG, that link is just the front page of the PEMEX corporate website. The most relevant link is just a press release re general hurricane preparedness for the season. Nothing specific to the current situation.

Some videos on youtube about Dean passing thru the Lesser Antilles (central islands)

St. Lucia:


Well, maybe good news. This morning's GDFL model now has Dean making landfall quite a bit farther south, near Brownsville.

That is a big shift from where it had been placing it over the past couple of days, and brings GDFL closer into line with the other models.

GDFL still shows Dean being a monster storm in the GOM, so that is little comfort for folks near the south Texas coast.

We are still so far out that a lot can change, after it passes through the Yucatan it could still go anywhere. Continued alertness would be prudent.

WNC Observer, as I remember the year before last Hurricane Rita was forecast everywhere between Brownsville and New Orleans. Don't let up on the prayers ot the 7 African powers Hurricane-Stay-Away candles just yet. (sarcanol alert) Bob Ebersole shows strong hurricane track imagery using Global Tracks

Hurricane Dean

Emily in 2005 had a very similar track to the one currently projected for Dean.

Dean has Shell removing more workers from U.S. Gulf

Royal Dutch Shell said it was evacuating 300 more support workers from U.S. Gulf of Mexico facilities on Saturday due to Hurricane Dean.

"Since the beginning of the week, Shell has evacuated approximately 460 people, with approximately 300 scheduled to be evacuated today," Shell said in a news release Saturday. "Evacuations are expected to continue through the weekend."

Shell has shut down production on approximately 10,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in preparation for the storm's possible entry into the U.S. Gulf, Shell said.

here's a topographic map of mexico showing that there's not much in the way of geographic barrier between Dean and Cantarell:

The geographic barrier is not elevation / relief, it is that a path across the Yucatan would result in a storm path crossing a couple hundred miles over land. Landfall weakens hurricanes. A couple hundred miles will greatly weaken a hurricane.

my very crude animator for NOAA images. Select an area, number of frames and image type and click the top button (sorry, animation control images aren't linked)

Warning: free web-hosting so turn pop-up blocking on.

Blue Mountains of Jamaica

There appears to be a very good chance that Dean will hit the Blue Mountains directly with it's eye. Highest point 7,400' (2,240 m ?).

The Blue Mts are small, the eye is small. Does anyone have detailed topographic maps of Jamaica ?

Also how high are the mountains on the southern coast of Haiti ? They are fairly high in the center.

Best Hopes for poking the eye out of Dean :-)


NASA is bringing the Space Shuttle home early to avoid the weather.

U.S. Refineries Operable Capacity
(Atmospheric Crude Oil Distillation Capacity
as of January 1, 2007)

1 Exxonmobil Refining & Supply Co Texas Baytown 562,500 b/ capacidad de refino
4 Bp Products North America Inc Texas Texas City 417,000
6 Exxonmobil Refining & Supply Co Texas Beaumont 348,500
8 Deer Park Refining Ltd Partnership Texas Deer Park 333,700
11 Flint Hills Resources Lp Texas Corpus Christi 288,126
12 Motiva Enterprises Llc Texas Port Arthur 285,000
14 Houston Refining Lp Texas Houston 270,200
17 Premcor Refining Group Inc Texas Port Arthur 260,000
19 Conocophillips Company Texas Sweeny 247,000
27 Total Petrochemicals Inc Texas Port Arthur 232,000
30 Valero Refining Co Texas Texas Texas City 218,500
40 Valero Energy Corporation Texas Sunray 171,000
45 Citgo Refining & Chemical Inc Texas Corpus Christi 156,000
49 Wrb Refining Llc Texas Borger 146,000
53 Valero Refining Co Texas Texas Corpus Christi 142,000
56 Western Refining Company Lp Texas El Paso 122,000
62 Pasadena Refining Systems Inc Texas Pasadena 100,000
70 Valero Refining Co Texas Texas Houston 83,000
79 Marathon Petroleum Co Llc Texas Texas City 72,000
92 Delek Refining Ltd Texas Tyler 58,000


Great list of Texas refineries, but Sunray and Borger are in The Panhandle and 700 miles from the Gulf, while Tyler is in between Dallas and Shreveport, La about 300 miles inland. Three Rivers is about 100 miles north of the coast between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, but the area floods quite a bit in tropical storms.

Thanks again for all your work! Bob Ebersole

Minerals Management Service big map of the Gulf of Mexico showing oil platforms and infra... (5Mb pdf warning...)

The latest revised track now has Dean heading close to Cantarell (although it will no doubt lose a lot of power as it passes over the Yucatan before it gets there). However it will now NOT apparently hit Jamaica square on so it wont supposidly lose any power in contact with the mountains there. It might therefor very well still be a very strong 4/5 by the time it hits the Yucatan - myabe it would fall to a 1/2 as it passes over there before passing close to Cantarell?

It will lose strength before it hits land, as the 'feeder bands' that power the hurricane WILL be over land, perhaps for 6+ hours before the eye of the storm hits.

BEIJING -- At least 13 people were killed as a tornado and Typhoon Sepat hit the Chinese mainland after more than 900,000 were evacuated as a precaution, state media reported Sunday.

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said it was evacuating 300 more support workers from U.S. Gulf of Mexico facilities on Saturday due to Hurricane Dean.

PEMEX is evacuating 13,000 workers.

Probably shutting in some production also.

The following was posted Aug. 18 on the Minerals Management Services web site regarding Hurricane Dean. Last week they reported that because of Erin 13 platforms in the GOM had been evacuated. Is there a source for informationon evacuation/shut-down of Mexican oil/platform facilities?

Minerals Management Service Activates Its Continuity of Operations Plan

NEW ORLEANS — Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs and have shut-in oil and natural gas production in the path of Hurricane Dean. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has activated its Continuity of Operations Plan team to monitor the operators’ activities. The team will remain activated until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to Gulf oil and gas activities.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 1 production platforms, equivalent to 0.1 percent of the 834 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. These structures remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location.

Personnel from 2 rigs have also been evacuated; this is equivalent to 2 percent of the 101 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackups, submersibles and semisubmersibles.

Hello TODers,

I certainly am no weather & climate expert, but please examine the latest Drought map [which is clearly getting worse]:

IF Hurricane Dean continues on its current Mexico track:

1. Will the precipitation dispersal pattern vis-a-vis the jetstream bring rain to Mexico, then Texas, Oklahoma, and the other White areas of the Drought map? These areas don't need anymore moisture, AFAIK.

2. Or will the precipitation dispersal pattern bring needed moisture to the US Southwest red area and/or the US Southeast red area? These are the parched hotspots that really do need the rainfall.

Perhaps, an unlikely? hurricane track swing to the north with a landfall east of Mississippi to replenish the SE's water supplies may head off worsening Southeastern drought problems?

People can temporarily live with drastically reduced oil & gas from a hurricane impact on infrastructure, admittedly not easily. But no food or water as the Liebig Minimum creates an entirely different social situation.

My feeble two cents, feel free to elaborate or refute.

EDIT: My heart goes out to the Jamaicans. It now appears Dean will track just along their Southern coastline; the worst case scenario. The people must be scared to death at what that means for them: maximum storm surge, maximum winds, and maximum rainfall causing mudslides and huge flash floods.

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

The drought map changes week by week. I've created an animated gif of years of it, and I could really use some help - how do I turn a animated GIF into a movie I can upload to YouTube?

The GIF is here if anyone wants to see ... its 29 meg and a slow loader ...

You might want to try this:

load your GIF and export it as AVI, which you can then upload to YouTube.

Tropical Storm Erin Remnants Pound Oklahoma
Heavy Rain Flood Homes, Roads

can someone post a map that locates the nitrogen production facilities at Cantarell? Muchos Gracias.

I wrote and posted some hurricane erotica on DailyKos early this morning and its made the recommended diary list. Yes, erotica and not porn - just words, no pictures.

Hello TODers,

From the CIA Factbook: Jamaican pop = 2.8 million on an island slightly smaller than Connecticut. Yet many Jamaicans are already expecting the US to flood them with post-hurricane aid and rebuilding funds. Perhaps they already forgot about FEMA's track record in Nawlins and the Mississippi Delta?

Also from the CIA Factbook:
Natural resources: bauxite, gypsum, limestone
[I would imagine these industries will be widely flooded and infrastructure wrecked--BS]

Environment - current issues:
heavy rates of deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions. [This deforestation sadly only adds to the flashflood and mudslide potential from Hurricane Dean--BS]

Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk; crustaceans, mollusks
[These will most likely be toast post-hurricane Dean--BS]

tourism, bauxite/alumina, agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
[If the damage to the tourism industry is severe: it may take a long time for their economy to recover as it is already experiencing negative GDP growth from the last hurricane hit. Pleas examine more worrisome details in the CIA Factbook page on Jamaica--BS]
Unfortunately, I expect widespread looting and other terrors in Jamaica after Dean passes [it has happened before from lesser hurricane hits]. Compare with Bangladeshi flooding and the Peruvian earthquake where people are fighting for meager supplies. Such is life.

I wonder how many Jamaicans moved their cars, trucks, motorcycles, and tractors to safe high ground before the hurricane. Recall the pictures from Oman where brand new cars in the dealer lots were wrecked by flashfloods because the owners did not anticipate how bad the flooding would be from Hurricane Gonu.

Even if the vehicles' interior and bodywork is pummeled, that is far, far cheaper than having the drivetrain filled with mud and water. I would strap down on high ground, with steel cables attached to deep anchors and/or sturdy trees, a high dollar tractor or truck, then hope the winds don't make it airborne.

EDIT: If you love Jamaican rum, I suggest you stock up now. Will Jamaica be transformed into another Haiti by Hurricane Dean? Time will tell.

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

Looks like the northern eyewall is scraping the southern coast of Jamaica right now... I suspect this will be a devastating storm for the island. This is essentially a near-worse-case scenario for Jamaica. With the storm center largely out to sea, the hurricane is in a position to keep relatively high strength.

-best hopes for Jamaican rum, and the Jamaicans themselves,


Almost Total Cantarell Evacuation

Mexico clears oil rigs as hurricane nears
Might order total well closure

Mexican state oil company Pemex on Sunday evacuated thousands of oil workers from the Gulf of Mexico and warned it might close up to 2.2m barrels a day of crude oil production as the powerful hurricane approached.

Pemex said it was evacuating 13,360 workers – most of its workforce in the area - and that it might order the ”total closure of the oil wells” in the Cantarell oil field and other fields.

One of the angles I want to pursue is a) how much of total production is affected, b) what's the design standards of those rigs in Campeche, and c) how long will this go (which is Chuck Watson's bailiwick. Right now, his initial estimate is a couple of months off line.

The eye-wall missed Jamaica. There should be a decent amt. of damage there but overall it should be moderate.


Hello Mtnlion44,

Thxs for responding, but I disagree. The latest advisory from NOAA has it right along the coastline or slightly onshore to the SW of Kingston Harbor. This will really drive the storm surge into the southern bays and ports.
500 PM EDT SUN AUG 19 2007


Don't forget hurricane force winds extend a long ways inland [60 miles?], and tropical storm winds much, much further [150 miles?]. Also, it would not be unexpected for tornados to cause big problems too.

EDIT: I have never been in a tornado or hurricane, but if the hurricane wind in howling at 130 mph--> can you even hear an approaching tornado until it is right on top of your house? Any TODers know?

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

"I have never been in a tornado or hurricane, but if the hurricane wind in howling at 130 mph--> can you even hear an approaching tornado until it is right on top of your house? Any TODers know?"

Nope. Even a 75 mph Cat-I wind makes a horrible noise. At 130 mph, that's all you're going to hear. If there's a tornado mixed in that, you won't know. However--I think that you'll be so occupied with the effects of 130 mph straight-line winds (and associated higher gusts) that the tornado just wouldn't matter much.



Thxs for the reply--must be absolutely poop-your-pants terrifying--I can't imagine why hurricane aficionadoes willingly expose themselves to this danger for a brief video opportunity. Fighting in Baghdad, Iraq seems statistically much safer than a CAT 4 or 5 hurricane.

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

There was in excess of 2 million barrels a day in that area between Cantarell and KMZ.

Anyone recall what the models were showing for Wilma as it headed for the Yucatan?

This one has a high pressure system north of it, holding it to a southern track.

The latest NHC advisory (5 PM Aug 19) is calling for the most distructive portion of Dean to move just to the north of Cantarell. However, in their discussion, they even admit that their official forecast path, has a northerly bias compared to most of their model guidance.

This is real trickly, a deviation of just 50-100 miles to the south--a VERY real possiblity, could potentially mess up Cantarell pretty good.

There are a lot of variables, including the fact that a slightly more southerly path would create more interaction with the Yucatan (i.e. potential for more energy loss from interaction with a significant land mass), speed that the storm will be moving as it enters waters on the Bay of Campeche, the stage of the eyewall replacement cycle when Dean hits the Yucatan, and of course the state of the oil infrastructure in Cantarell.

IMO its still too close to call. The good news for those in Texas, is that its looking a lot less likely that this one will significantly affect Texas with each successive computer model run. My thoughts are with those in Mexico that will be affected. Its a terrible thing to have to live through.

This could still be a very significant oil production distruption. Best of Luck to all...

my only real fear for TX at this point is a swirl north towards refinery row before a second landfall in MX.

the human toll of these storms saddens me so much.

the human toll of these storms saddens me so much.

Yeah, the focus here seems a "little" off at times.
Hence the Jamaican shelters piece I posted below.

No, I know. It's something I think about a lot--and it has to be intertwined. But people come here looking for info on energy.

I mean, that's why I (personally) am doing all of this, because of all of the suffering not just from the storm, but also from the aftermath and how it affects peoples' lives.

It's about all I can do from here, other than send a check to the Red Cross, which I already did today.

Dean is likely to degrade over land.

Jamaican leader pleads for people to go to shelters

The prime minister made a last-minute plea for Jamaicans to abandon their homes Sunday as Hurricane Dean began lashing the island with heavy winds and torrential rains on its destructive and deadly march across the Caribbean. Many residents ignored the call, however, while tourists holed up in resorts with hurricane-proof walls.

Coastal Texas and Mexico also began evacuations to avoid the storm's wrath, with many Texans hoping to avoid the disastrous last-minute exodus before Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Jamaica set up more than 1,000 shelters nationwide in converted schools, churches and the indoor national sports arena, and authorities urged people to take cover from a Category 4 storm that could rake the country with winds of 145 mph and dump up to 20 inches of rain.
But only 47 shelters were occupied as the outer bands of the storm began hitting the island early Sunday, said Cecil Bailey of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.

"For the last time, I'm asking you to leave or you will be in danger," Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said as the storm loomed offshore. Forecasters said Jamaica, home to 2.7 million people, would take a near-direct hit from Dean, with the eye passing just to the south.
As of 2 p.m. Sunday, the storm was located about 80 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and was traveling west-northwest at 18 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Could Erwin possibly pull Dean thru the gap between Cuba and Yucatan ?


Are you calling the spin in GOMEX Erwin?

GDFL is my favorite solution.


Let me clarify using WT's post in graphoilogy:

Texas and Louisiana

Things are looking much brighter for Louisiana, as the GFDL model has come in line with all of the other models in predicting a landfall in Southern Texas or Northern Mexico. It now appears likely that Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will knock Dean down a category or two before it can approach the Texas coast. The upper level low that was forecast by the GFDL to potentially steer Dean northwards appears to be weakening and moving westwards, out of the way of Dean. You can watch this upper level low on water vapor satellite loops. It is the counter-clockwise spinning region that has moved west off the Florida coast into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. If this low continues to weaken and move westwards, it will not be able to swing Dean northwestwards towards northeast Texas and Louisiana.

Thank you, WT.

If this low continues to weaken and move westwards, it will not be able to swing Dean northwestwards towards northeast Texas and Louisiana.

That "low" has gotten stronger. Could you, jmygann, or
someone else tell me why Dean will not be pulled North over Cancun?

Thank you.

Hello Mcgowanmc,

Dean continues to be steered by a persistent mid- to upper-level ridge of high pressure to its north, and this pattern should last through early in the week. An upper trough of low pressure continues to move quickly to the west across the central Gulf of Mexico. This is allowing that persistent ridge of high pressure to also shift west and maintain itself to the north of Dean, so a track more to the west-northwest is favored through the first part of this week. This will bring Dean just south of the Cayman Islands on Monday after raking Jamaica tonight. It will then move across the Yucatan peninsula later Monday night into Tuesday. Latest global models are trending the forecast track of Dean southward and that is supported by the strong upper-level ridge that should maintain itself to the north of Dean. This would favor another landfall on the northern Mexico Gulf coast around midweek, which would be better news for U.S. interests.

Yep, it almost looks like the GoMex spin could form its own hurricane, especially if the Loop Current, or a strong eddy is directly underneath it, but the experts think it will move west over land quickly. In short: the persistent Atlantic high, and it movement and position, has a greater steering effect on Dean than anything else.

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


Thanx for your reply, toto

Yes, yes, yes. "Dean continues to be steered by a persistent mid- to upper-level ridge of high pressure to its north, and this pattern should last through early in the week. An upper trough of low pressure continues to move quickly to the west across the central Gulf of Mexico. This is allowing that persistent ridge of high pressure to also shift west and maintain itself to the north of Dean, so a track more to the west-northwest is favored through the first part of this week."

I agree that this has been the "correct" mantra of the last week.

And that Dean will "dive beneath the "trough" (the GDFL Solution). But notice how the GDFL flip flopped from the
farthest NW of the Spaghetti Plots to the farthest SW.

I think it's more than a trough though. And the latest
Water Vapor Loop from NOAA shows the Trough turning in a WSW
direction. Maybe even coming ashore in Mexico.

It's now looking like two boys diving into the same shallow end of the pool. At some point they're going to meet.

And/Or maybe Dean gets crowded out. There's only so much room in Mexico for two Low pressure systems.


For some reason, the oil market is not buying Dean.

At least not at 19:22 Sunday eve.

Crude down %1.

Stupid speculators that hear Dean is supposed to miss the US oil areas, and don't realize Mexican oil areas are equally as important.

hedge fund redemption at work? They found out last Wednesday their investors want to take all of the money off the table and they're selling everything that isn't nailed down ... could be with five weeks from now until end of quarter all of the money flowing out of the system is depressing prices of things that would normally rise?

Hello Asebius,

That could be a big mistake on the traders' assumptions. Let me explain my feeble reasonings:

1. Assume Dean hits somewhere between Veracruz and Tampico after crossing the Yucatan.

2. The Liebig Minimum in the Mexican FF-infrastructure might be the electric powerlines and pipelines as they cover the greatest distance and are most exposed to high winds, flash-floods, and landslide events.

3. High tension towers twisted like preztels, or washed down a hillside will take a long time to repair or replace even if you can secure the steel materials. There will be lots of washed out roads and bridges in Mexico if Dean is a severe rainfall event. Hell, a lot of their roads are poorly maintained already. Buses going off cliffs regularly, and that sort of thing!

4. Much of the same phenomena applies to pipelines if a significant number of washouts occurs. You can't start refilling a pipeline until all breaks are repaired and electrical juice is resupplied to the numerous pumping stations along the pipeline route.

5. I have no idea how close to sea-level the ports and refineries are in Eastern Mexico, but obviously a storm surge would screw things up for awhile, but it may not be a disaster [just a real pain in the ass]. A worse event would be a landslide or huge flash-flood really re-arranging the refinery equipment and/or causing a big fire. Or totally disabling a powergen plant by putting 10 feet of mud inside a turbine.

6. I have no knowledge of Mexico's Grid System, but if the Yucatan gets splayed plus the eastern coastline gets whipsawed, can the other parts of Mexico shift enough power to these areas to help power what infrastructure they have until it all gets repaired?

7. For example, if the offshore oilfield platforms [Cantarell, KMZ] ride through the hurricane relatively undamaged, but you cannot generate the power to gasify the oilfields-- not much is going to come up out of those production platforms.

In short: Mexico is relying on very long, very thin spiderweb strands. It might also be seen as a golden opportunity for an explosive attack, or your normal run of mill stealing of copper and other goodies. Who knows?

Edit for clarification and spelling--oops!

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


10:03 AM C

One more jog to the North.

The interaction of Dean with Jamaica is fascinating (to my untrained in meteorology eyes). From the front animated satellite graphic it looks like the eye scrapes the bottom of Jamaica and what appears to be a fan of air is ejected northward. As this happens the eye changes its course to the south. Classic example of conservation of momentum?

Excellent point, actually. I hadn't noticed that.