Hurricane Isaac has finally made landfall in South Eastern Louisiana with sustained winds of 45 mph and a maximum reported gust of 62 mph. Isaac’s Category 1 rating means that the hurricane is theoretically capable of producing sustained wind speeds of up to 80 mph.
Nearly two thirds of all offshore rigs active in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated in preparation for Isaac's arrival; 93.2% of oil output was shut in as well as 66.7% of gas output.
According to Amy Jaffe from Houston’s Rice University, “It seems from current projections that Isaac is not likely to cause major damage to infrastructure and therefore shouldn’t be like Katrina in having a long term impact on US refining and production operations.”
Hurricane Katrina (Category 3) disrupted approximately 4.5 million bpd of refining facilities with winds reaching up to 120 mph.
As it becomes clear that Isaac’s impact on the refining industry is likely to be far less damaging than Katrina, energy prices have responded accordingly with crude oil rising to meet continued demand and gasoline dropping US$ 0.03 (partially as the result of profit taking from the earlier rise).
Edited from various sources by David Bizley