Powerful hurricane warning issued for US Gulf Coast

Published on : Saturday, June 19, 2021

A most powerful tropical storm warning has been issued for the US Gulf Coast, including Louisiana, where a system is expected to approach the north-central Gulf Coast late Friday or early Saturday.

The meteorologists forecast the system will form into Tropical Storm Claudette and bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the northern Gulf Coast, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The maximum sustained winds are near 30 miles/hour with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast tonight and Friday.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can disrupt the North American petrochemical industry, because many of the nation’s plants and refineries are along the US Gulf Coast in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

The Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil production accounts for 17% of total US crude oil production and federal offshore natural gas production in the Gulf accounts for 5% of total US dry production, according to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA).

Even the threat of a major storm can disrupt oil and natural gas supplies because companies often evacuate US Gulf platforms as a precaution. Over 45% of total US petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as well as 51% of total US natural gas processing plant capacity.

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