Major Hurricane Expected in Gulf of Mexico This Week
Ian is expected to be a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of this week.
That’s according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), which published the warning in an advisory posted on its website at 5am EDT on Monday. At the time of writing, the NHC’s site showed that Ian had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and a 14 mile per hour northwest trajectory.
“Life threatening storm surge and hurricane force winds are expected in portions of Western Cuba beginning late today, and Ian is forecast to be at major hurricane strength when it is near Western Cuba,” the NHC stated in the advisory.
“Regardless of Ian’s exact track and intensity, there is a risk of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of this week,” the NHC added in the advisory.
At the time of writing, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) had not published a hurricane monitoring report on Ian.
In addition to Hurricane Ian, the NHC is currently monitoring two other disturbances in the Atlantic. One of these is post tropical cyclone Gaston, which is located in the north central part of the region, and the other is unnamed. The unnamed disturbance, which is situated in the central tropical Atlantic, has a 40 percent chance of cyclone formation within 48 hours and a 50 percent chance of cyclone formation within five days, according to the NHC.
Atlantic weather systems have severely affected oil and gas operations in the past. For example, at its peak, Hurricane Ida shut in 95.65 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production on August 29, 2021, and 94.47 percent of Gulf of Mexico gas production on August 31, 2021, BSEE figures show.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s website, the Gulf of Mexico “continues to be the nation’s primary offshore source of oil and gas, generating about 97 percent of all U.S. OCS oil and gas production”.
In a statement sent to Rigzone last week, Tom Seng, the Director of the School of Energy Economics, Policy and Commerce at the University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business, said, “if any storms occur that take out production in the Gulf, there's no telling how high crude prices could climb this time”.
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