A U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) survey of natural gas processing plant operations shows that Hurricane Isaac caused considerable disruption to processing infrastructure, although it had a negligible effect on natural gas prices because of ample onshore production and surplus storage.

In response to Hurricane Isaac, EIA invoked its emergency-activation survey Form EIA-757B to collect daily data on the status of natural gas processing plant operations. The survey was completed Sept. 7.

Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the evening of Aug. 28, 2012, and ultimately disrupted natural gas processing operations for more than 10 of the 13.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of total processing capacity in the affected area. The survey captured plants with capacities greater than 100 million cubic feet per day.

Natural Gas Chart

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-757B, “Natural Gas Processing Plant Survey, Emergency Status Report.” Note: Figures only include plants with capacities exceeding 100 million cubic feet per day.

The bar chart above page shows five items:
•    Operational capacity (green): Sum of capacity of natural gas processing plants in the path of Isaac that was operating at normal levels.
•    Reduced capacity (yellow): Capacity that was processing gas at a reduced rate relative to pre-Isaac levels.
•    Ready to resume capacity (orange): Capacity that was able to process natural gas but was not currently receiving adequate volumes of gas from upstream to justify starting up the plant, or did not have a downstream delivery point able to accept its products.
•    Shut-in capacity (red): Capacity that was unable to process gas because of damaged plant infrastructure or power outages.
•    Maintenance capacity (brown): Capacity that was shut down for maintenance because of reasons unrelated to Isaac.

For a full report on this story and EIA survey, click here.