How has Hurricane Harvey impacted the United States energy sector?
Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating effect on the Texas Gulf Coast and for millions of people life will never be the same again - but on a wider scale it has also had a huge impact on the United States energy sector.
The oil and gas industry has been heavily disrupted with dozens of platforms shut down and evacuated, whilst plants and refineries have also been closed.
"Because it is a slow-moving storm, it (Harvey) is dropping massive amounts of water on the region. As a result of the flooding, a large amount of refining capacity is offline meaning that gasoline production is severely curtailed," William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Rivkin Securities, told Reuters.
The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated that platforms accounting for about 22 percent of oil production and 23 percent of natural gas output in the Gulf had been shut down, although some have now reopened.
Around a third of US refining capacity sits in low-lying areas along the Texas and Louisiana coast, so the markets have also been affected with US gasoline futures reaching a two-year high of $1.7799 a gallon.
According to an analyst from FX Pro: "Although the full impact of the storm's damage is yet to be determined, the markets expect the impact will be felt globally and affect energy markets for many weeks."
The US Dollar also sank to its lowest level in almost a-year-and-a-half today with the storm being blamed as being negative for economic growth.
Analysts from Goldman Sachs, speaking to the Financial Times, said: "Information on the extent of the damages incurred by the oil and gas infrastructure remains limited at this point. Nonetheless, data available so far points to sizeably larger refining than production disruptions.
"Should these levels of outages remain in place, and using past hurricanes as proxies for the impact on oil demand, we roughly estimate that the impact of Harvey on the US oil market would be to increase domestic crude availability by 1.4 million barrels per day while removing 615-785 kilobarrels per day of gasoline and 700 kilobarrels per day of distillate supplies.
"Larger refinery outages would increase these long crude and short product impacts.”
Nobody is sure how much of an impact this is going to have yet but what is quite clear is that it’s certainly going to have an impact on the US and probably globally as well.
Robin Mills, writing in The National, suggested: “This hurricane is an important test of a transformed US oil industry. It is an opportunity to fix vulnerabilities that it reveals – the exposure of shale oil wells, refineries and the Houston energy complex.
"And it is a warning of the confluence of a warming climate, higher seas and more coastal energy infrastructure. Katrina was largely a US domestic disaster, but the ripples of future hurricanes will spread further into global oil and gas markets."
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."