Almost ten years have passed since the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The damage caused cost between $96-$125 billion. Between cleaning up and prevention preparation, much remains to be done to prepare oil and gas development for future hurricanes.
According to About News, “Hurricane Katrina affected 19 percent of U.S. oil production. Hurricanes Katrina, and previous Hurricane Rita, destroyed 113 offshore oil and gas platforms, damaged 457 oil and gas pipelines, and spilled nearly as much oil as the Exxon Valdez oil disaster. “
Industries are creating hurricane standards in response to past storms instead of future ones. This leads to the dilemma pointed out by Robert Bea, a retired engineering-risk professor at the University of California at Berkeley, in He said, “Regulations and standards in the Gulf of Mexico are aimed at preventing past failures from happening again. Few rules push operators to actively make plans for the next, invariably stronger storm.” Low oil prices could impact the implementation of new safety features since they’re expensive and companies are seeking to reduce their budgets.
Despite the economic strain, most of the oil and gas industry are trying their best to learn the most from their experiences with Hurricane Katrina. As reported by Biz New Orleans, “When you have any disaster you want to learn a lot from it, and the industry certainly has,” says Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Katrina’s aftermath has caused important changes to be made. Platforms are being built with higher waves, stronger winds and currents in mind. Improved weather technology leading to more accurate data and a better understanding of the Gulf of Mexico will hopefully make it easier to predict heavy storms.