Katrina, Rita And Harvey Tell Shale's Story

August 28, 2017

The shocking images of Houston's freeways transformed into waterways by the deluge of Hurricane Harvey call to mind similar footage of the floods unleashed on the Gulf coast by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 12 years ago.

Along with everyone else there, the energy industry tied so closely to this region was hit hard, both then and now. Yet, while the full extent of the latest damage is still to be determined as the disaster is ongoing, it may be that the hurricane seasons of 2005 and 2017 will come to be seen as bookends on a transformation in the U.S. energy business.

Even as they grapple with more existential problems (if they're in southern Texas or are worried about people who are), energy traders are also confronted with the fact that, by and large, the markets they deal in appear largely unperturbed. Prices of gasoline and other refined products have jumped - a logical outcome, given that about one-sixth of U.S. refining capacity has been shut down. Yet crude oil and natural gas prices were either flat or down on Monday morning.

Read more on Bloomberg Gadfly...

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