Oil and Gas Industry Prepares for Hurricane Season

05 31, 2012 by Chris John

As we head into the 2012 Hurricane Season, Louisiana’s residents will begin the necessary preparations to keep their families and property safe in the event of a storm. Louisiana’s oil and gas industry is no different, and our facilities take great care developing hurricane response plans to maintain safe operations while providing fuel for the public. Our detailed hurricane preparations start long before the official start of hurricane season, which begins on June 1st. We encourage you to begin thinking about potential storms now. Don’t wait to the last minute to plan and purchase supplies. Be prepared.

When a storm threatens the Gulf coast, our first priority is protecting the people of Louisiana, including the oil and gas industry workers onshore and offshore Louisiana. Maintaining a reliable supply of fuel for evacuation and recovery efforts is critical to the public’s safety before, during and after a storm. Careful planning for all stages of a storm is necessary in order to safely provide critical fuel supplies for citizen evacuations, emergency agencies, hospitals and other critical infrastructure. When a storm approaches the Gulf, appropriate phased responses are initiated in a precise, controlled manner and decisions are made based on the best available storm data.

Our companies are continuously striving to improve hurricane preparation and response plans to lessen storm impacts and shorten the time it takes to recover. Plans are constantly updated and improved year-round, not just when a storm is at our doorstep. Regular planning meetings are held with local, state and federal agencies before and after hurricane season. We coordinate with state and federal emergency officials, local emergency managers, transporters of fuel, and local retail service stations.

During past major storms, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Rita, our Louisiana refineries were able to supply the state and emergency responders with enough fuel to operate efficiently to get through these storms safely. Through collaboration with government officials at the local, state and federal levels, as well as other businesses in the critical fuel supply chain, industry was able to effectively communicate about operations and fuel needs for the state’s critical agencies.

Just as industry’s readiness is critically important, it is also imperative that Louisiana’s citizens make fuel planning part of their hurricane preparations. Fuel supply is an essential part of protecting your families and property during a hurricane. Businesses and the public play a key role in ensuring adequate fuel supplies are available both before and after the storm. Early planning for your hurricane fuel needs will ensure fuel is available for all that need it and that resupplying of gasoline stations proceeds smoothly.

Safety is of paramount importance to our industry and we are committed to protecting our employees, the environment and the communities in which we work from the impacts of a hurricane. The oil and gas industry thanks you for your cooperation and, once again, we as an industry are committed to safely providing fuel during this coming hurricane season.