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Did Katrina Destroy Our Gulf Oil Rigs?


By James Donahue

Sept. 6, 2005


The U.S. media has been pre-occupied with the trapped, starving and dying people of the Gulf Coast and FEMA’s tardiness in rushing relief to them.


American reports about what happened to our oil rigs in the gulf, and the refineries ashore, have been sparse, however, and mostly suggesting on the words of President Bush that there will be a “brief interruption” of service that is causing gasoline, natural gas and heating oil prices to zoom through the roof this winter.


Our situation, however, must be more severe than we are being told. Why else would world nations all be lining up to contribute from their own oil reserves to help us at this time of need?


Here is what we have learned by searching the various storm damage reports:


One early story said “some rigs were ripped from their moorings and one was found nine miles away from its original location. A drilling platform washed up on Alabama’s Dauphin Island, near Mobile.”


The U. S. Coast Guard reported on Monday that it also received “early reports of oil platforms and rigs adrift in the storm’s wake. Shell said that two of its oil drilling rigs under contract were adrift.”


Then Bloomberg announced that “Katrina ripped drilling rigs from moorings, damaged production platforms and curtailed pipeline shipments, idling 11 percent of U.S. refining capacity and leaving oil supplies vulnerable to another crisis.”


The story said a shortage of aircraft and workers was “hobbling efforts by energy companies . . . to assess damage to the 819 staffed production platforms and 137 drilling rigs off Louisiana and Texas.”


Bloomberg said the storm at that time has “shut about 91 percent of the region’s oil production, or 1.37 million barrels daily.”


That is about when gasoline prices started spiking to over three dollars a gallon.


Since the Bloomberg report, news about the condition of all those production platforms and drilling rigs has stopped. Instead we are getting television images of President Bush and the campaign to save the families trapped in their homes ashore.


But an oil analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. was quoted as saying what happened in the gulf is “an economic disaster.” What did he mean?


A report from Russia by Sorcha Faal may have spilled the beans at last. This article, one of several sensational pieces posted on, quotes a report from the Itar-Tas News Service that Katrina ruined 58 of those rigs and at least 30 of them may have been totally destroyed.


The story said “The Gulf of Mexico was supplying up to 30 percent of all U.S. crude and one-fourth of natural gas to the American market.”


The Faal report also quoted an AP story that said 90 percent of the oil production from the gulf was blocked from market. It said “The US Minerals Management Service said 423 of the 819 staffed production platforms in the Gulf are shut down, delaying production of 90.4 percent of the region’s normal daily production of 1.5 million barrels.”


This is devastating news for the American economy and for the American people. It means that a costly winter looms, when oil and natural gas heating costs will be spiking through the roof. Many elderly citizens on fixed incomes are already struggling to pay for the costs of heating their homes. Can they afford to stay warm in the months ahead?


And what other disasters lurk as this sensational hurricane season continues its course? We still have three more months of hell to face before it is over for 2005. And Psychic Aaron C. Donahue says he sees an even worse hurricane season ahead for next year.



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