Tropical Storm Edouard - Open Thread (Updated)

Tropical storm Edouard continues westward towards Texas. While likley not even a 'cane, there is still uncertainty regarding impact. Though it never reached hurricane level in the Gulf, there is potential for refinery flooding but this is currently being offset by futures contract flooding...;-) Below the fold is the latest estimates on the storms potential impact on shut-in production and refineries.'s meteorologist friend, Chuck Watson, has an updated analysis:

"Although the raw models on our page are still showing peak shut ins fairly high, they aren't properly factoring in the fact that many platforms/rigs aren't shutting in since Edouard is fairly weak and they don't have time to get the crews off without a major and expensive push anyway. So I'm sticking with a peak impact of 30% or so short term, minimal damage to the offshore infrastructure.

Onshore is an interesting situation. We have added a list of refineries in the damage swath, along with estimated down times. The down times are currently all sitting at 2 days, since it is anticipated that there will be no significant damage, but some precautionary actions will interfere with production. A slight increase in intensity and this could get bad quick if the storm stays on track - lots of valuable, and, compared to the offshore stuff, very vulnerable infrastructure in the way. 70kts and no opportunity to build big waves won't hurt most modern rigs/platforms much, but 70kts and even a foot or two of water in a refinery is bad news.

Here is an updated link to an analysis on the storms track and likely oil and gas production impacts, including onshore refinery flooding.

Here is an image as Eduard made landfall this am, exactly on border of LA/TX:

Not sound callous, but I took long positions in Crude Oil & Natural Gas last week and this should cause a nice jump up. Just need to time it to get out before the news becomes "Edouard never reached hurricane speeds and the Gulf Coast suffered no damage."

I wonder if this will affect grain prices? Maybe corn (ethanol) but not wheat or soybeans?

And I hope that everyone in harm's way will be okay.

Dear Callous,
At the open of futures tonight, (as well as 2 hours later, now), oil is up 80 cents and gas up 12 cents. Not much movement yet, but we have been in a downtrend. And please explain why it would impact grain prices? (Dec corn down 10 cents to 575 in night session)

Yeah, that's what I'm betting on. From last week's COT, the commercials are now net long CL and NG. And both have been "walking the lower Bollinger Band" until last week. They look really oversold. So I'm thinking we may be at a short-term low and bounce a bit, and possibly more if hurricanes form in the Gulf and/or the tension rises in the ME.

The COT report in NG was an eye-opener. The last time we saw such a spike in the Specs going short was back in December, also after a come down in the price of NG. The Specs are the most short NG in a year. I suspect I know what happened. The new shale NG plays while creating lots of opportunity have also created new obligations for those who have bought the leases. There is chatter and some proof that a number of these NG companies, especially CHK, started hedging out the NG strip into those highs. One wonders that the Specs piled on to this trend as NG collapsed. However, it now looks like a very crowded short, because based on my brief reviews of the NG companies latest reports, a good deal of their hedging is done, for now. I am also of the view that we will not fill storage to last year's level by the typical 01 NOV marker, and I am predicting all time highs in demand for NG this Winter, providing its a normal winter temperature wise. I think Grid demand for electricity, and new demand from two years of switching from HO to NG heating systems will both show up this Winter in a very significant way. The scramble to flee expensive BTU's in heating oil for much cheaper BTU's in NG is on, here in the Northeast. Needless to say, any storm that hurt NG production for a week or two, now that we are in August, would give the NG market much more visibility on how much storage we'd have at the end of the season. In fact, it would make it much more clear, much earlier, that the Fill would come in lower than last year.


10:59 PM EST: SEP NYMEX WTIC up +1.10 to 126.20. SEP NYMEX NG +.09 to 9.48


Nat gas down 7% today on news that 6-10 day forecast going to be much cooler than expected.

Oh, man! Wouldn't it be sweet if tensions rise in the MidEast, eh? Could we even hope for (dreaming I know) a war to start in there somewhere? How might we perhaps convince Pakistan and Iran to start a good dustup? Any ideas?

Not to sound too ignorant, but how do you buy crude and nat. gas positions? Are they futures, or can you buy some type of tracking index?

You can do both - futures (full or mini) or ETFs. Select the Category: Specialty - Natural Res.

Not to sound ancient, but I remember when going long
meant 8 or 10 years. Now going long means buying on
Friday and expecting to sell Monday after lunch.LOL
Of course back then,"honest" meant you wouldnt take a
bribe and today "honest" means that when you are paid stay bought.

I'm long too, but it looks like the markets and financial media are reacting in the [sadly, typical] moronically irrational fashion.

As of 09:30 Eastern, Bloomberg is reporting that "Oil Falls on Speculation Gulf of Mexico Storm Won't Damage U.S. Facilities". This 'explanation' is proffered even though there was clearly no 'storm premium' priced into CL yet, as the storm formed unexpectedly over the weekend while the markets were closed. Go figure.

Yeah, I know. Look at the COT for NG. The commercials are very net long while the large traders are very net short. The last time this happened NG shot up and doubled.

So, how is that working out for you?

That forecast track for Fast Eddie is a quick jab to the gut.

NHC discussion on Tropical Storm Edouard

My favorite local weatherman, Bob Breck, said his only concern was the slow forward movement. If it did not start moving faster than 3 to 4 mph , and with formation still taking place (no eyewall) Edouard could still change away from any model. Unlikely, but the models are not yet "high confidence".

Any development or faster forward movement would dramatically increase confidence.

Best Hopes for some rain,

Alan this the first "stationary" storm in the Gulf? I woke up expecting Edouard to have moved off to West even just a bit and it hasn't it. How odd is that? What the heck would happen if we were faced with a stationary hurricane. Freaky stuff.

One of these years, we are going to see a "ringer" hurricane in the Gulf, one that starts along the Mexican coast and rings the entire Gulf coastline.

It has moved a bit west 88->90, actually early this morning it "scooted" out from under the convection. The convection built back over it though.

It's my understanding that even with good computer models, unexpected things can and do happen. Whatever the case may be I stocked up on water and charcoal.

Every time serious storms start to form it feels like we are forced to play russian roulette. Even if it doesn't seem that likely this time, the stakes are a bit too high for my liking. Maybe we should design rigs with a submersive ability...

We are playing Russian Roulette. It is absurd that our entire economy has been planned and $trillions spent to built it so it is subject to a single weather event that happens 4-12 times a summer.

Here is the import problem into the US Gulf refineries.

  • Current import levels have steadily decreased over the last year (looks like field depletion). Also, US Gulf imports are large, with the shortest shipping cycle and number of ships required. To increase imports from other world regions requires building more tankers (Matt Simmons constant reminder that we have not tended the infrastructure well.
  • Mexico cut Velero's allocation by 15% a week ago.
  • We are importing below the worst impact of Katrina.
  • Compensating for Katrina required action by the International Energy Agency and Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  • One large storm or several small evacuations of oil crews will make a crisis.
  • Inventories are at the bottom of the historical trading range (blue band). Below the blue band somewhere is the minimum operating levels; the oil inventory in a pipeline cannot be used. Inventory is expensive, so my guess is the minimum operating level is just below the bottom of the blue band.
  • As inventories drop, energy availability snags on obstacles normally avoided by the hard work of many in the distribution chain. Inventory is apolitical.
  • Oil's distribution chain is long and complex. It is a logistical wonder that snags have not been common.
  • Further explanation.

Of course, as Datamunger has noted, demand is down. However, my view is that Gulf Coast refineries have not been able to fully offset the rapid decline in imports from VenMex (Venezuela + Mexico). And of course, I view this decline as structural, not as a temporary problem.

I do think that it is unlikely that we will see gas lines this fall, because of the SPR. The problem of course will be using the SPR to offset a structural decline in world net oil exports--especially the proximal exporters only a few shipping days away from Gulf Coast refineries.

I am positive there will be gas lines this fall. The risks are stacked for a discontinuity and spot shortages at least as bad as last year seem very likely. There is greater safety than costs in preparing for them.

  • Forecasting gas lines is like forecasting an earthquake; if the tectonic plates are moving and the crust does not, the guarantee of an earthquakes moves towards 100% while the actual trigger moment retains obscure.
  • Independent refiners and retails are in a margin crisis. Retail costs for credit card processing approximately equals their margins for selling gas. This is an up-side-down price war. The majors are increasing retail gasoline more slowly than much of the market can bear. Gas lines are possible as distribution points fail financially.
  • Lower demand increases in uncertainty of distribution shock
  • A systems as vast and complex as the oil distribution system can cascade for many reasons that we are not expecting. It is "for loss of a nail a shoe was lost, a horse went lame, a message lost, a battle lost, etc...."

There are a bunch of known reason for a supply snap. As stress grows on the system, the number of unknown, unknowns grow. We can have failures as unexpected as a supply clerk not getting to work to ship a spare part.

Experience is not a foreteller of the future. The The Black Swan is a very good book on this and how to make decisions without being the turkey. Related is the experience of the turkey. For a thousand days, it wakes to the kindly care and feeding by humans. Reinforced day after day that experience builds until the unexpected event the day before Thanksgiving.

When the 1973 Oil Embargo hit, we imported 20% of our oil. Now we are at 70%. It feels like autumn.

You can frame and immortalize this turkey tale if you want:

"I like it after the holidays, when the crowds are gone."

OK, lets play the WHAT IF game...

What if this had been a hurricane, even a mere category 3 one? With this track. And with these oil prices and stocks...

We aren't talking astronomical odds here that this would happen. I mean how many hurricanes track the gulf of mexico each season...

The consequences could be sudden and devastating: gasoline shortages -> rationing -> national guard on the streets protecting petrol stations -> looting and rioting...

I mean we pretend our civilization is the pinnacle of human intelligence and achievement - yet we persist in building these houses of straw...

The Collapse of Complex Societies - ones your problems are compounded - the straw that breaks the camel's back...

Agreed, things seem scarily close to falling apart.

We seem to be arranging things along the lines of Self-organized criticality. We've avoided major collapses for so long, and spread the risk so evenly across our systems, that we are running out of places to drop the next grain of sand.

It's difficult not to be paranoid in times like this; are they preparing for something in Italy already, with the deployment of soldiers?

"deployment of Soldiers" = a mere publicity stunt..

of course we do. those houses are the cheapest, and we need the money for the real important things, like an suv to tell the world our status, or a really big plazma tv to watch fox news

on a more serious note, i'm sure you can name a couple of compromises that you have made or still make, for the sake of a little extra cash / commodity. do you buy organic / local produced food? do you ride a bicycle to work? did you chose a better paying - longer commuting job? do you travel by plane? do you take a vacation someplace far away?

stop complaining about this, because the easier path is...well.... easier to choose. and because you're still human, wtshtf, you'll feel sorry about not participating in the raping of our planet while you had the chance :) i'm starting to think this way not because i'm evil or something, but because i'm taking into account the rest of the population.

every single god damn time i ride uphill back from work,i think about owning a car and how much easier it would be. and when there will be no cars, would i feel better because "hey, i rode my bike all along", or would i think "this was coming no matter what i did, why didn't i make my life easier when i had the chance?"

I have been the weakest of them all.

I do only what is in my short term best interest.

HOWEVER, when I have been in a "moral" cause which has a great leader I always end up being the one who sacrifices my all. The others seem never to have my stupidity of giving their all.

If we don't get a "good leader", but stay with this Democratic joke we have for leadership we are in serious trouble.

From ASPO meeting (previous post)

1067. Ireland’s Response to Peak Oil "--------"

Ireland is utterly dependent on imported fuel "------------"

1. Tap renewable energy, especially from wind and ocean, of which the country is well endowed;

2. Co-operate closely with the long-established Electricity Supply Board to secure a national solution;

3. Facilitate the sale of electricity from small scale producers of wind and other energy to the grid;

4. Install smart meters in every home to reduce wastage;

5. Provide tax incentives for improved commercial and household insulation and efficiency.


Not one, slap on the ass, not one, "real" problem fixer, not one, warning of pain, not one, "WE" have to act now.

I fear we will all keep our sheep on the Common until it is too late.


On a personal level, there always seems to be a balance to be struck between acting for the good of; mankind, the planet, your country, whatever; and externalising costs (see social trap) to improve your relative position in societal/genetic terms (and those of your family, friends and like minded people).

I think everyone externalises some costs that they should perhaps 'rightly' bear themselves, some people hide this process better than others, and some people externalise more costs.

In evolutionary terms, perhaps in the past it has been optimal to secretly externalise as many costs as you can get away with, whilst propagating as a social rule that people should seek to minimise this externalisation - for the greater good (similarly with lying and telling the truth).

Now we're facing a resource constrained future, this evolutionary logic doesn't work anymore. We actually need to follow our own advice! But can our rational conclusions change our programming, when - as in the prisoner's dilemma - we can never fully trust other people to do the same?

What we really need to counter our stupidity is a committee for central planning that could make all the right choices for us, oh, say, 50 years out or more so that we humans wouldn't be locked into this shortsighted living one day at a time. We could gather together all the really smart people and let them decide what is best, not for just Americans but the whole world. Get rid of this nonsense about personal freedom; it doesn't work.

Not sure whether to take that as tounge-in-cheek...

I am quite libertarian in my general perspective, but agree it's quite hard to see how problems with externalities will be solved without some kind of central control, unless by some miracle humanity can transcend our animal tendencies away from competition.

Those who tend to aquire power though, are those least likely to be good custodians of the general welfare. There's also the matter of deciding what our goals (and values) on the earth actually are - we'll never all agree on that.

Over all, I think I'd sooner risk that we don't all make it, than succumb to a global government and accept the curtailment of freedom that would probably entail.

What's the problem with "global government"? Oh, I get it, you're American and therefore so much smarter than everyone else in the world that you must be allowed to do whatever you please with whatever you can buy. Can't possibly survive in a world where your vote was only equal to everyone elses. Yeah I remember now.

Actually I'm British, not that it makes any difference - except for serving to illustrate your prejudice.

A benevolent dictator would be ok with me, but if our national governments are anything to go by - no thanks.

Well my vote is that I'm not interested in global government.

Some issues are my concerns as an individual, and solely mine to decide. Some issues concern me as a parent or family member, and are no outsider's business. Sometimes, I will impose myself upon my family members in ways they'd rather I didn't, sometimes they will do the same with me. We deal with this informally, with variable degrees of success.

Further up, I have some legitimate concerns as a citizen of this country and city, which other cities and countries aren't really concerned with. But there are certain things my fellow citizens can justly demand of me, and I of them. We deal with this with a democratic political system.

And finally, I have some legitimate concerns as a human citizen of planet earth. As do everyone else. How are these concerns met?

As it happens, We already have a "world government" for military matters (and any other matters when they feel like it) - it's called the UN security council, it's not even remotely democratic, and the US is on it. But for a large part, my legitimate international concerns (and far more so, the legitimate international concerns of poorer and less free people) aren't met.

The question isn't whether we should have a world government, because we will always have some form of it as long as nations interact. The question is whether it should be a dictatorship, a free-for-all grab what you can anarchy, or something more accountable to the world's people.

If you could, would you give your conscious brain total control over your body? If you did, you'd probably be dead in five minutes.

Wow. Good response!

on a more serious note, i'm sure you can name a couple of compromises that you have made or still make, for the sake of a little extra cash / commodity. do you buy organic / local produced food? do you ride a bicycle to work? did you chose a better paying - longer commuting job? do you travel by plane? do you take a vacation someplace far away?

Well I just happen to cycle to work, 18km - don't own a car - and enjoy every minute of it. I mean free travel plus exercise and fresh air. While my colleagues keep complaining about fuel costs and maintenance bills. And are driving to the gym after work and paying for it. I have to admit I don't put much effort in buying all organic/local even if I could. I'm too lazy and just pick them up if they happen to b available in my local store. Vacation abroad? I life in Finland! Why should I travel faraway when I still have so much to explore here...

congratulations on doing a lot more than others, but that's not the point.

there are 2 billion people in the so-called first world, and their "green" nerve it turned on by a very large margin. for some it means living in the woods and eating squirrels, but for the vast majority is meant buying a hybrid and maybe turining the light / AC off.

until doing the right thing has a substantial lower price compared to BAU, things will not be better, because people will always choose the short term rewarding system. 10 dollars in your pocket now versus maybe saving some polar bears in the future, that's the thinking goes

Good real time image loop of the storm currently on NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA RADAR

This storm certainly formed fast. Updates on the Oil that's going to be shut-in? I hope it doesn't hit the Houston Shipping Channel. The Louisiana Offshore Oil platform is also likely to be shut down.

The Houston ship channel is already shut down.

Sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts. A probability it might reach hurricane strength before making landfall tomorrow in Texas.

Does not appear like Katrina. It is a much weaker storm churning close to the coast without the exponentially high winds that damaged oil infrastructure in the past.

According to my brother there was little fear of Cat. 1 storms in South Florida after what they have been through in recent years. The category four and five hurricanes were killers.

Look at that water vapor trail going from Mobile Bay into the Caribbean.

edouard could be a Cat 1 by this evening.

Dolly caused over a billion dollars in damage, but most people don't notice because it was not a huge metro area like Houston or NOLA.

Even "small" storms can pack a punch. This could be an interesting week...

The relative lack of coverage of the damage caused by Dolly in the MSM was amazing. Yet the images broadcast by local tv news channels were pretty horrendous in certain (mainly poor Hispanic) areas. There were entire neighbourhoods under water for over a week - some may still be. Out of a population in the Texas Rio Grande Valley of about 1.2 million over half were without power at one point and the 911 system failed. All 5 area newspapers failed to print and all the tv channels went off air and lost their internet links for up to several days.

As you say if the same storm had hit a larger metropolitan area we'd have seen more pictures.

Sadly, the MSM ignores stories about poor brown people unless those stories can be twisted to serve some private corporate purpose.

Houston Ship Channel closed to traffic as storm is coming in.

"I'd imagine the channel would be reopened Wednesday evening or Wednesday afternoon," Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said today in an interview. "I don't think, frankly, that any of the Houston-area refiners are going to shut down."

The storm doesn't appear to threaten oil and natural-gas production, he said. Large offshore oil and gas platforms are farther out to sea than the storm's forecast track and it was too late to evacuate them when Edouard formed Sunday from a tropical depression, he said.

"...most people don't notice..."

"it was too late to evacuate them when Edouard formed Sunday from a tropical depression, he said."

This is how those Perfect Storm movies always start out.

and Houston won't be doing an evac this time.

"The U.S. banking system is essentially insolvent. The Treasury, Federal Reserve, FASB, and Congress are colluding to keep the American public in the dark for as long as possible. They are trying to buy time and prop up these banks so they can convince enough fools to give them more capital. They will continue to write off debt for many quarters to come."

courtesy the right on top of it Ilargi at TAE

So, given a choice, who does DC bail out, the FDIC or Houston?

My uncle lives in Florida on the Gulf side north of St. Pete. He had his house flooded and there was tremendous damage. The storm that did it? It didn't even have a name. All the locals there call it "The No-Name" storm. The reason it did so much damage was that the weather guys didn't predict it to grow so strong and it formed rapidly enough to not be able to give people time to evacuate and/or prepare.

Link to webcam on the Mariner Energy High Island 334B oil platform.

Location 28.12 N 93.67 W, looking NE.

Given the near cetainty of at least one severe hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico between July and October of any given year, would it be such an unreasonable proposition for Congress to mandate that the US oil industry maintain a certain size stockpile of refined product during that vulnerable time period?

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve can help, but if whole refineries are down, you can't exactly run a truck or car on crude oil. And there are also many logistical problems associated with a major tapping of the SPR during a severe natural disaster.

As has been expressed here at TOD on a number of occassions, the US oil industry appears to be moving more and more toward operating a just-in-time inventory mode, which is contrary to any common sense approach to dealing with emergencies. But on the other hand, the oil industry doesn't really suffer all that much if there are spot shortages due to natural disasters, because the product they do have on hand can be sold for a higher price. So I guess they have little incentive to prevent spot shortages.

This is one reason why I think the notion of regulating the US oil industry as some sort of public utility is not all that far-fetched.

We have the SPR for a reason. Just consider all of the hazardous chemicals those of us in the middle of the petrochem industry live nearby. Not terribly far away from here we have Chocolate Bayou which produces nasty things like liquid C4 for the military... not to mention sulphur, ammonia, and other stuff which is probably more deadly.

Bloomberg reports oil is below $120 a barrel

Crude oil fell below $120 a barrel for the first time since May amid speculation that Tropical Storm Edouard won't cause disruption to most offshore oil facilities as it approaches the coast of Texas. Crude oil for September delivery fell $5.34, or 4.3 percent, to $119.76 a barrel at 11:42 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

TALKX: Floor Talk: Crude plunge leads to quick recovery in the market

As mentioned earlier, crude oil saw a sharp $4 pullback in the past 15
minutes. The drop coincided with a BP telephone message saying the Edouardo
storm is not impacting its gulf situation (reported by Bloomberg), although
the storm hadn't previously shut any offshore oil production in the Gulf and
was not expected to cause a disruption to oil facilities in Texas. Crude
dropped a quick $4, falling below short-term technical support levels,
bringing it briefly below the key $120 support level (crude is now -4.20 at
120.90)... Equities popped off of session lows on the move in oil, with the
Dow jumping ~80 points. Oil-sensitive groups such as the airlines (XAL +5%)
jumped while energy related stocks dropped to session lows (OIH -4.5%, XLE
-3.4%). Financials, which had been leading the declines in the market this
morning, saw a notable bounce on the crude pullback (XLF is now -0.8%)... The
major equity averages remain lower on the day but are now at their best levels
since the market dropped at the open (Dow -10 pts, SPX -5 pts, Nasdaq -14).

I find this all terribly suspect and shortsighted.

Satelite loop (1200 hrs) shows the storm is getting better organized and intensifying. Still, I don't think this is going to be big deal, but watch the oil price start rising this PM.

BTW, oil is down based on three positive news stories reflecting future production, including Iran opening up 15 projects to international bids and good news on Alaska pipeline front.

Currently I live in Houston. This storm is expected to start having an effect in the early morning hours in Galveston, around 4am-6am in the Galveston area. Expected winds are 40mph up to 70mph. Hurricane Central

Shelter-in-place issued after sulfur fume release at Valero plant in Houston (just to illustrate one of the countless chemical hazards in the region)

Tropical Storm Edouard blog: Houston area braces for the storm

Galveston preparing for Edouard

At this point, I'm not terribly worried about the storm. I've been through countless tropical storms and hurricanes in Florida and Texas. The best case scenario is that this storm doesn't strengthen too much or moves at a slightly faster pace along the coast. I expect the rigs will be ok for the most part because they are built to weather this sort of event.

Despite what some expect there is possibility for a worst case scenario to play out. In my estimation, damage to rigs isn't the important thing. Flooding, tornadoes, lightning, and wind damage are sufficient to cause highly unpredictable damage onshore to the petrochemical industry. The refinery industry is widespread here, but concentrated enough that a major event could take out a big percentage of it.

When tropical storm Allison hit a few years ago, I was out with friends and didn't heed the warnings about it. I thought it was just going to dump a bit of rain on Houston. Instead, it ended up becoming the worst flooding event in Houston in the 14 years I've been here. The danger in a slow moving storm like Allison or Edouard is that despite their relative weakness, they can make up for that weakness by slow movement.

If Edouard hits within 15 miles of dense petrochemical infrastructure here and stalls out, that is probably the worst case scenario. Allison stalled near Houston, but a study completed after the recovery had been completed found that Allison dealt Houston a glancing blow by missing the city by about 15 miles. The study essentially said that had Allison hit more directly, the entire city would have effectively been under water.

When I experienced Allison, I was out with friends. The rain started coming down hard. We waited 20-30 minutes to even try entering the club. Finally we decided to just get soaked and go in anyhow. We didn't stay long, probably about 15-20 minutes. By the time I went outside the feeder roads along the highways had 2-3 feet of water. Houston is essentially at sea level and so is all the land south of Houston and along the Gulf Coast.

In hindsight, that night was probably one of the most foolhardy nights in my life. Many others got caught in the storm as well and at least I was able to help rescue some people. What I learned from my experience is never to underestimate mother nature.

As for how the markets are responding right now, it seems like some big players are getting caught short right now. If Edouard doesn't turn out to be a non-event, they will be caught with their pants around their ankles. I doubt this type of scenario, but at the same time I see at least a small possibility that some big players might have to scramble to cover their positions. At this point even a $5-$10 jump in crude is the last thing we need or want.

I'd also like to point people to the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project where more information can be found about the likely areas to flood. Here is the flood map of Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, and Harris County.

If this storm isn't a big event, we will continue to be an Achilles heel for the southern energy industry. Houston is considered long overdue for a major hurricane... I believe the last one was in the late 70's or early 80's before I lived here. Allison was estimated to have caused $5 billion in damage (other estimates said $6 billion), the majority of which was in Harris county. That storm only had maximum sustained winds of 57mph (92km/h). By comparison hurricane Alicia caused $2 billion in damage. So have no doubt that a tropical storm can do worse damage than a hurricane.

Here is a detailed analysis of the damage caused by Allison (which was before the current spike in prices).

Knightrd - I for one really value your perspective.

I agree that petrochem. is highly over looked IRT PO.

Please keep posting your view.


Thanks souperman2. The storm is strengthening... but as long as it doesn't stall out the prognosis is good. It does make me think a lot about how precarious the supply side is these days. I've been so disappointed lately because I still don't see adequate action from world government or corporations.

Houston is a commuter city. My last job required me to drive about 60 miles a day. Commutes like that are pretty common, with some people driving 100 miles or more a day from the suburbs. Inside the city proper, apartments or condos provide the only affordable housing for many people. Since the large influx of people from New Orleans, there isn't much spare capacity in the apartment sector.

Our only transit system to speak of is a highly dysfunctional bus system. When I was younger I used it quite a bit. The average professional here couldn't use it unless businesses really backed public transport now. Too many people work late or on days when service isn't offered for it to be widely practical at this point. Of course that can change, but people aren't going to accept buses like some other areas have.

Our economy here definitely blinds a lot of the people to how difficult things are in the rest of the country, much less the rest of the world. I worry about our long term prospects though. I think we're going to fare better than most places for a while and then fall off a cliff so fast people will be left wondering how it could happen.

There has been a strong desire to get a citywide rail system, almost everybody that I've talked to about it for the past 14 years has been for it. The problem is we have the Metro cartel to deal with and their corrupt monopoly in conjunction with corrupt politicians (i.e. paid off) effectively have made it impossible to implement. Perhaps urgency in the future may change that. I'm assuming that if the general population is forced to use the unreliable, unsafe, uncomfortable bus system, that change will come.

We built a light rail system, spanning several miles downtown, in an attempt to get the Olympics to come to Houston. Despite a problem with cars causing accidents with the train, it seems to be going smoothly right now. The problem is that it cost a good $5 billion or more to implement just a few miles of light rail here. So I wonder if we will be able to do light rail in a post peak world.... I guess it's a "wait and see" thing.

My gut instinct is that I need to move at least 1-2 hours outside of a major metro city. Right now my dream is to get a few acres of land and do organic farming. I'm just not sure if I'll have enough time to make it happen. One of my good friends and I go to see his family south of Houston fairly often. They have a nice little farming community down there and sell everything to the asian groceries in Houston. He jokingly calls where they live "asian acres". :D It's a bit like I'm returning to Thailand or Cambodia every time I visit...

2:33PM CDT
latest recon 35 knts 1001 mb
URNT12 KNHC 041933
A. 04/18:56:00Z
B. 28 deg 16 min N
091 deg 13 min W
C. 850 mb 1436 m
D. 35 kt
E. 131 deg 81 nm
F. 226 deg 043 kt
G. 130 deg 063 nm
H. 1001 mb
I. 16 C/ 1553 m
J. 19 C/ 1501 m
K. 16 C/ NA
N. 12345/8
O. 0.05 / 1 nm
P. AF308 0305A EDOUARD1 OB 07

4:00 PM CDT update from the weather folks:

At 400 PM CDT...2100z...the center of Tropical Storm Edouard was
located near latitude 28.3 north...longitude 91.4 west or about 135
miles...220 km...south-southeast of Lafayette Louisiana and about
215 miles...350 km...east-southeast of Galveston Texas.

Edouard is moving toward the west near 7 mph...11 km/hr. A turn to
the west-northwest is expect to occur tonight...and the center of
Edouard should be very near the Upper Texas coast by midday

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph...75 km/hr...with higher
gusts. Although Edouard has not strengthened yet is
becoming better organized and is expected to be very near hurricane
strength by the time it reaches the coastline during the day

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles...110 km
from the center...and were recently reported near Cocodrie

Edouard approaching landfall about now. Looks to be just on the Texas side of the La/Tx border. It's come in a little earlier and a little to the east of the central forecast position.

7:10 AM CDT

Looks like the storm is coming ashore at Port Arthur Tx. Highest winds at Baumont 35MPH with gusts to 55.

Eddie seems to be more of a blessing for the Houston area than a disaster due to the ongoing drought. The center of the storm seems headed for Dayton/Liberty and Intercontinental airport.

Daily history Buamont Tx

NHC 7AM CDT update

700 AM CDT TUE AUG 05 2008






I work in energy and it amazes me how you all people find natural to wish there will be a storm so that you can make short-term money. And everyone benefits, from the rubbish weather institute to the rubbish trader who comes home and say he wants a better world, but with more money in his pocket.

I don't think there are that many people reading here with that intention. I could be mistaken though. The intent of following these events (e.g. putting up a post on a tropical storm)is that we realize the fragility or our supply and demand situation for oil and natural gas.

I just want some rain, please.

*sigh* waddles off to the garage to turn on the sprinkler system ...

I'm just glad this wasn't a big event. It didn't even fill the bayous to 1/4 capacity around where I live. The news said as long as the bayous didn't reach 1/2 capacity halfway through it, we wouldn't have widespread flooding. Some areas of Houston flood even during small rain events.