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Twin Tropical Storms Marco and Laura in the Gulf of Mexico

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

In a rare scenario, two tropical storms Marco & Laura in the Gulf of Mexico had hit at the same time. According to NOAA records, this situation was encountered only twice in Sept 1933 and another in June 1959.

"Around one million barrels of oil production has been halted per day as Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura make its way to the Gulf of Mexico"- Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

According to the latest forecast by Hurricane Centre, each will hit the coast of Louisiana, which will result in landfall. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has also released a statement saying - "This is a major hurricane. It’s going to be a large, powerful storm," saying it's expected to make landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border as a Category 3 storm.

Equinor, BP, Shell, and Chevron and other oil & gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico, have started evacuating workers working in the Gulf of Mexico and also began moving platforms and drilling rigs ahead of Tropical Storm Laura and Hurricane Marco. 

Gulf coast petrochemical plants and refineries located in the low lying area are also vulnerable to floods. According to the Hurricane Center, Laura pushed sea level as high as 15 feet and predicted more catastrophic damages. Laura is getting stronger and will convert into a Category 4 storm. Nine individuals have already lost their lives in the Caribbean Sea. Petrochemical plants in Beaumont and Arthur Port in Texas are preparing for complete closure.

A jump in the prices of oil has been observed, with shut-in production at the Gulf of Mexico. However, the price increase will remain limited because of the absence of bullish news regarding oil demand.

WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas Spot and Futures Prices (NYMEX)

Amidst the storms, Arena energy has filed bankruptcy; the company has a major operation in the Gulf of Mexico and expected to contribute to more job losses there with the shutting down of operations. Overall, America’s oil exports are also expected to be negative until production returns to normal.

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