Dennis, Katrina and Rita - a diary as they happened

One of the benefits of running this site as long as we have is that it can now act as a diary through which, should you wish, you can go back and see how the story unfolded for the three hurricanes that created so much devastation in 2005.

We did not do a lot of reporting on Dennis which came to land in Florida on July 10th, 2005. Though it was this hurricane, the first of the three, that damaged the Thunder Horse drilling platform that has only just been brought back on site, just in time to meet Gustav.

There was a note on the impending threat on July 9 but Prof G hadn’t yet started putting together the resources that he did with Katrina and Rita. However there was a precursor of coming problems when in the post showing Thunder Horse damage it was noted that nine of the rigs damaged by Ivan the year before had not yet been repaired.

Prof G began Katrina coverage on August 26th and you can follow through the successive posts as the risk, and then the damage was described in successive posts. There had been, earlier that summer, a Fox TV movie called “The Oil Storm” in which a hurricane took out The LOOP the offshore oil port, and that was predicted to raise prices from $50 to $70 a barrel. What a difference three years make!

One problem that arose at the time was with the supplies of fuel into South Florida, which got its fuel by water from NOLA, and which for a while ran short. It is interesting to note the optimism that is quoted from the refinery folk about how soon they thought the refineries would be back on line. There were national gas shortages by August 31. As has since developed there is a lot more information in the comments than just in the original posts.

Rita first appears in a comment on September 18, with the main posts starting on September 19th , and the first assessment of damage on Sept 24 just after she came ashore.

All of these have been "teachable" moments. Just as I presume this one will be as well.

Thanks for putting this together!

One of the lessons early on was that the underwater pipelines that are very vulnerable to damage. A quote from National Underwriter (an insurance periodical):

The major problem in determining the extent of damage is that much of the damage could be undersea. Inspection requires diving equipment, which is in limited supply.

One lesson for insurers coming out of Ivan is that the extent of connectivity between oil rigs and platforms through undersea pipelines was missed by both clients and underwriters.

“It was not understood as well and appreciated,” he said. Since Ivan, there is now greater focus and understanding on the ripple effect from a damaged pipeline, both in terms of avoiding business interruptions and in forecasting the loss scenarios.

I would expect that there are even more pipelines now than in 2005.

Thanks, i believe there's enough time to read these threads before Gustav makes landfall. ;)

All prep should now be completed. Whatever you got is what you're gonna have.

Arkansas is on the edge. When in doubt, head North.


I think I was just discovering the oil drum about the time of Katrina. That event (and reporting here) is what finally convinced me to take the Peak Oil seriously.

Thanks for all the hard work, everyone.

edit to add: I just looked at my account info, and I've indeed been a member three years and a week. But I was also reading/commenting on the "old" Oil Drum site prior to this one, IIRC. Time flies.