U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Michael's Impact on Energy: Daily Update

By Colin Finnegan

Hurricane season is far from over. Category 4 Hurricane Michael is poised to make landfall on the Florida panhandle today, accompanied by 100mph winds and a massive storm surge. According to reports, Michael will be the strongest hurricane to ever come ashore along the Florida Panhandle in records dating to 1851.

Late Tuesday, President Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida and authorized DHS and FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. As the storm progresses, GEI will update readers on regional energy capacity, outages, and aggregate industry updates. Additionally, the Chamber Foundation has resources for businesses that walk you through how to prepare your business for a natural disaster.

Monday

Energy Capacity

For the Lower Atlantic Region (WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, and FL) had 28.1 million barrels of total gasoline stocks, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is 9% higher than the 5-year average for this time of year.

As of 2:00 AM October 15, 6.0% of Florida gas stations (including 38% of Florida Panhandle stations), 3.7% of Georgia gas stations, and 2.8% of Alabama gas stations were reported out of service due to lack of fuel and/or power. Not all stations have been updated following the storm.

Outages

According to the most recent DOE reports the following outage numbers have been reported:

Alabama, 3,667 customer outages, decrease of 40% since last report

Florida, 168,589 customer outages, decrease of 10%

Georgia, 105,064 customer outages, decrease of 13%

North Carolina, 33,772 customer outages, decrease of 54%

Virginia, 30,730 customer outages, decrease of 47%

Industry Safety and Precautionary Measures

Duke Energy has mobilized more than 7,000 personnel, prepared to work around the clock to restore customers' power. Crews from Duke Energy's Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky operations will assist – as will workers from other utility companies based in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Illinois, Texas and Missouri. Restoring power after a storm can be extremely challenging for repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be impacted by high winds and widespread flooding – making repair work lengthy and difficult.

Electric companies mobilized an army of more than 35,000 workers from at least 26 states and Canada to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. This workforce includes company personnel, contractors, and mutual assistance workers. As customers are restored, electric companies are reallocating and redeploying resources to ensure a safe and efficient response. Affected electric companies and their restoration partners continue to work around the clock to restore power where it is safe and conditions allow. 

Every electric company follows a detailed plan for restoring power after a storm. While customers may not see electric company personnel in their neighborhoods, the energy grid is heavily interconnected, and crews are working throughout the system to bring power back on quickly and safely. Some customers may not be able to receive electricity even after it's restored to their neighborhood because of damage to their homes.

 

Friday

Energy Capacity

The hurricane shut in more than 40 percent of oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico, according to data from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, as well as almost 32 percent of gas production capacity. Assuming most fields resume production by the end of the week, the cumulative lost oil production for the month of October will be 90,000-100,000 b/d, according to Platts Analytics.

6.0% of Florida gas stations (including 38% of Florida Panhandle stations), 2.6% of Georgia gas stations, and 1.3% of Alabama gas stations were reported out of service due to lack of fuel and/or power.

Colonial Pipeline said Thursday it was maintaining normal operations except for Line 17, which lost power, leading to a fall in refined product deliveries to some parts of southern Georgia. 

Outages

According to the most recent DOE reports the following outage numbers have been reported:

Alabama: 87,706 customer outages (3%)

Florida: 389,639 customer outages (3.7%)

Georgia: 268,461 customer outages (6.4%)

North Carolina: 361,879 customer outages (9%)

South Carolina: 117,221 customer outages (2.6%)

Industry Safety and Precautionary Measures

Oil producers, including Chevron and BP, began returning crews today to offshore facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that were evacuated prior to Hurricane Michael, Reuters reports. Restarting production can take several days however, and producers lost 1.7 million barrels of oil through Wednesday — a figure that is expected to rise.

Utilities across the impacted area pre-staged crews, equipment, and materials and mutual assistance networks have been activated, with over 30,000 personnel positioned to support restoration efforts. Duke Energy reports nearly 6,000 workers including power line technicians, damage assessors and tree specialists are ready to respond to the storm’s impact in the Carolinas.

 

Thursday

Energy Capacity

Colonial's two main pipelines -- the 1.37 million b/d gasoline line and the 1.16 million b/d distillate line -- were "not in the line of the storm," Colonial said in a statement Wednesday.

S&P Global Platts Analytics has estimated, based on the experience with 2016's Hurricane Irma, that average load in the Southeast would drop by a range of 20% to 30% because of Michael's arrival.

5.7% of Florida gas stations (including 36% of Florida Panhandle stations), 2.3% of Georgia gas stations, and 1.2% of Alabama gas stations were reported out-of service due to lack of fuel and/or power.

Outages

According to the most recent DOE reports the following outage numbers have been reported:

Alabama: 60,905 customer outages (2.4%)

Florida: 309,691 customer outages (3.2%)

Georgia: 336,364 customer outages (7.1%)

North Carolina: 13,630 customer outages (0.3%)

South Carolina: 100,648 customer outages (4.3%)

Industry Safety and Precautionary Measures

The industry's mutual assistance network also is activated. So far, investor-owned electric companies, public power utilities, and electric cooperatives in the expected path of Michael have mobilized more than 30,000 workers from at least 24 states to restore power. This workforce includes company personnel, contractors, and mutual assistance workers. Additional electric companies outside of the storm zone continue to monitor and assess the situation and are ready to provide assistance. 
 
The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) is engaged to ensure unity of effort and unity of message across the highest levels of industry and government. We appreciate the ongoing leadership from the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA in helping to coordinate the industry's response to Hurricane Michael.

Personnel have been evacuated from 89 production platforms, 13% of the 687 manned platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel have been evacuated from three non-dynamically positioned rigs, 13% of the 22 operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Wednesday

Energy Capacity

As of late Monday morning, 324,190 b/d of Gulf of Mexico oil production had been shut in, 19% of total output, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

283,880 Mcf/d of Gulf of Mexico natural gas production was shut in, 11% of total, according to BSEE.

Outages

Roughly 3 million people are in Michael’s projected path, we will keep readers updated on outages when information becomes available.

Industry Safety and Precautionary Measures

According to reports, multiple companies have taken the comprehensive steps in preparation for Michael’s landfall.

ExxonMobil has removed crews from its Lena Platform, which is undergoing decommissioning, per spokeswoman Julie King.

BP has evacuated crews and shut in production at its four operated platforms: Atlantis, Mad Dog, Na Kika, and Thunder Horse.

Chevron evacuated crews and shut in production at its two US Gulf platforms, Blind Faith and Petronius.

Anadarko shut in production and removed all personnel at its Horn Mountain and Marlin platforms.

BHP Billiton is "ramping down and shutting in" its Shenzi and Neptune platforms. Evacuation of both platforms has been completed.

Duke Energy and Southern Company utility have crews in place, anticipating power outages. Southern Company subsidiary Alabama Power's 1,776-MW Joseph M. Farly nuclear plant in Columbia, Alabama, are closely monitoring the storm. There is no plan to shut the plant at present, according to Alabama Power spokesman Michael Sznajderman.

X

Subscribe to the Blog

Receive the Global Energy Institute's latest articles in your inbox.