Hurricane Harvey satellite image – courtesy NOAA/NASA
AGA is closely monitoring the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the destruction these natural disasters have caused. There will no doubt be a long road to recovery, and natural gas utilities in Florida and Texas, and beyond, are working tirelessly to help aid in that recovery.
During a disaster of the magnitude seen with both Harvey and Irma, natural gas utilities, first and foremost, look to confirm that all employees in the affected areas are safe and accounted for and to assess injuries or safety incidents. Thus far, we are getting positive reports from our members in the affected areas and seeing encouraging accounts in the media.
SNL Energy’s Sarah Smith reported on Tuesday afternoon that, “The gas utilities of the Southeast appear to have come through Hurricane Irma with minimal infrastructure damage despite the devastation wrought over large swaths of the region.”
Smith recounts positive news from Florida Public Utilities Co., Florida City Gas and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.
E&E’s David Iaconangelo analyzes the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the oil and gas industry. He spoke with Richard Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts Inc., who said in the lead-up to Irma’s landfall that pipelines were often designed “so they can run independently, like an island on their own.”
The piece goes on to note that, “Operators of the Gulfstream and Sabal Trail pipelines, which deliver natural gas from neighboring states to central Florida, said Irma had not interrupted service.”
It is still too early in the evaluation and recovery process to determine whether or not the planned resilience of the natural gas delivery system performed as intended.
In July, the Natural Gas Council, which collectively represents companies that produce, transport and deliver clean, affordable natural gas throughout the United States, released a joint report, “Natural Gas: Reliable and Resilient” that provides a practical guide to the operational measures, physical characteristics and contractual underpinnings of the natural gas system’s exceptional record of reliability and resilience.
Dave McCurdy, our President and CEO, said, “all along the natural gas supply chain, from production to end-use delivery, the industry employs a portfolio of tools to help ensure protection of its facilities from both and physical and cybersecurity threats.”
Our thoughts are with all those in Texas, Florida and other areas hit by these natural disasters for a safe and speedy recovery.