Tropical disturbance approaching US Georgia, Florida coasts not likely to disrupt chem ops

Adam Yanelli


HOUSTON (ICIS)–A tropical disturbance moving towards the Georgia-Florida state lines is unlikely to disrupt any chemical plant operations in the region, and activity at the Port of Savannah was normal as of mid-afternoon on Friday.

Source: National Hurricane Center (NHC)

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the disturbance, identified as AL92, is about 80 miles (129 km) east-southeast of Brunswick, Georgia, lacks the necessary organization to form a hurricane.

Maximum sustained winds are at 35 miles/hour.

The NHC said that even if the showers and thunderstorms become better organized, AL92 would be a “short-lived” tropical depression before making landfall, where it will immediately begin losing intensity.

Operations at the Port of Savannah (Georgia) were normal as of mid-afternoon on Friday.

The NHC is also watching an area of low pressure above the Bay of Campeche, where environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development as it moves slowly to the west-northwest, and a tropical depression could form over the southwestern US Gulf this weekend.

There is likely to be increased focus on US Gulf petchem production this summer as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting the greatest number of hurricanes in the agency’s history.

NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center said that the hurricane season – which started on 1 June and runs through 30 November – has an 85% chance to be above normal, a 10% chance of being near normal and only a 5% chance of being below normal.

The prediction of 17-25 named storms is the highest ever, topping the 14-23 predicted in 2010.

Damage from hurricanes can lead to increased demand for chemicals, but hurricanes and tropical storms can also disrupt the North American petrochemical industry because many of the nation’s plants and refineries are along the US Gulf Coast in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

In 2022, oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico accounted for about 15% of total US crude oil production and about 2% of total US dry natural gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Even the threat of a major storm can disrupt oil and natural gas supplies because companies often evacuate US Gulf platforms as a precaution.


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