The USA's Offshore Federal Oil and Gas infrastructure includes over 53,000 kilometers of pipeline. This provides the means to service and transport approximately 30% of the USA's domestically produced oil and gas from offshore wells to onshore refineries.
The USA is increasingly dependent on the steady supply of energy from offshore oil and gas reserves. Because of this, the MMS remains attentive to the destructive forces of hurricanes and the extensive challenges to protect pipelines in advance of, and to re-start pipeline production following, these catastrophic natural events. Now, the MMS has awarded DNV a contract to conduct a study that will discover the effects on the Gulf of Mexico pipeline infrastructure of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and how to be better prepared in the future to reduce hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico.
The scope of work is similar to DNV's recently completed study of pipeline damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. The Ivan study report will be finalized later this month. These results and the new work on Katrina and Rita will enhance the current understanding of pipeline responses to hurricane forces. Moreover, this work will identify best practices and potential changes to codes to better protect pipelines during subsequent major hurricane events.
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