2007/06/05

Everybody Complains About the Weather...

..."but nobody does anything about it". - Charles Dudley Warner

Speaking of oil prices and weird weather -

Cyclone Gonu, the worst storm the Arabian Peninsula has seen since records started being kept in 1945, is expected to hit Oman within the next day and pass right over the Strait of Hormuz. Other sources predict the storm will turn North over the Gulf of Oman and come ashore in Southern Iran.

A Catagory 5.5 Cyclone, Gonu has winds of 160 mph and is kicking up waves of 40 feet. While it is expected to diminish as it comes ashore, it will still be a formidable storm and Oman has declared a state of emergency. Tankers there are reverse loading - pumping oil back to the storage tanks on shore. They expect 10 meter high waves to batter the shore.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Oman - whose production peaked back in 1997 - produces about 3/4 of a million barrels of oil per day. World production is around 85 million bbl/day. Also, about 1/3 of the oil used in the world is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz - including 90% of Japan's oil imports. [This vulnerability is why Japan has been trying to buy oil and gas from Russia (the Sakalin II project), why Prime Minister Abe recently visited Indonesia and also got Saudi Arabia to agree to stockpile oil on Okinawa, and why Vietnam is now source of some of the crude oil used in power plants in Japan.]

Possible damage to infrastructure from surges along the coast of Saudi Arabia is another concern.

As global light sweet oil production has not increased since May of 2005, supply is very tight and relatively small disruptions can cause price spikes. Depending on the severity of any damage, those spikes may not drop back down very much later.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lets hope this storm gets weakened enough by contact with land that damage is minimized. And while we're hoping (or praying or whatever you do) we should not forget that there are two US Navy Carrier Battle Groups in the Gulf, as well as ships of other nations. They are probably not in danger, but it should give the Navy pause to think that they are more or less bottled up in there due to a storm.

Update- Let me apologize for not saying this in my original post: There is also the human element which can get lost when we focus on economic impacts. People in the path of this storm face ocean surges and flash floods. Lets keep their lives and well being foremost in our thoughts.

I didn't intend to do another oil or climate related post for a while, but this turn of events highlights in bright neon the topics of the previous post, and I'm not seeing it reported by the mainstream US media.

16 comments:

Robin said...

Global warming.. that must be it..

The whole is talking about it and there is nothing much we can do excpet being environmental friendly.. and that itself is a myth.

Is our whole really going to end one day?

Impermanence

Pandabonium said...

The irony is thick - we create the conditions for storms like this which threaten our supply of the very oil which we burn to create the conditions.

It is true that modern societies cannot be totally environmentally friendly, but must we use it all up in a generation or two? People we call "primitive" lived in balance with nature, taking no more that nature could provide.

Of course it will all end some day, but until then, let us all try to be wise and compassionate. Yes?

The Moody Minstrel said...

The mainstream media isn't talking much about it, but over on Fark they're joking about Bush using his "hurricane machine" on Iran.

QUASAR9 said...

Everybody Complains About the Weather..."but nobody does anything about it". - Charles Dudley Warner

We've had the hottest April in recorded history, followed by the coldest May in recorded history.

PS - I know you mean reducing emissions to change the weather.

But the last thing we want is to tamper with the weather. You cannot please all the people all the time nor can the Sun (Or Rain).

Pandabonium said...

Moody - that's funny...or...let get my tinfoil hat on.

Quasar9 - But the last thing we want is to tamper with the weather.

I agree, but we ARE tampering with the weather already by burning up millions of years worth of CO2 in a single century. We need to back off and let nature be in balance, yeah?


Glad you got the point of the title. :D

ladybug said...

Yea, Panda - haven't heard a squeak in the media around here, hope it won't turn out too bad for the folks who can't evacuate for the hills...

Pandabonium said...

Ladybug - me too. I've only seen one report of a death. Oman is like the American southwest though - prone to flash floods. It will be a while before we know how people fared.

Martin J Frid said...

Very interesting and scary. BBC has a good story about it, and people from the region have been writing in to describe the situation.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6727883.stm

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Martin. I'll post some pictures soon.

Reena said...

I think things have changed gradually in the last 10-15 yrs and drastically the last 2 yrs or so. I remember in Blore, last December we didn't have to use our woollens at all! That's scary, since it obviously means that our world is getting warmer at an alarming rate.

Gonu's raised oil prices! The huge price we have to pay, for our foolishness.

Pandabonium said...

Reena - 6.5 billion of us on Earth now, all wanting to use her "resources", and having serious impacts. High oil prices may be a good thing if it gets us to change our ways soon enough.

Hill said...

The concept of balance with nature is verboten to the interests of corporations. If it doesn't produce billions of $$$$$ today, it is not considered to be worthwhile.
Karma is gonna be really pissed when she comes for us.

Pandabonium said...

Hill - I think it is in human DNA - that we evolved to discount the future as an economist would say. If given the choice between getting something now and being more greatly rewarded later, we choose now. The corporate model just makes such poor choices a whole lot bigger.

And yes, there will be a major price to pay.

Martin J Frid said...

Hmm, "discount the future", yet everyone is having kids. How does that add up. The future we leave for them is not the future our grandparents gave to our parents, and so on and so forth...

hill, I tend to think of karma as neither "pissed" (great quote, thanks) or in favour. Hmm hmm. I should go and sit and have a quiet moment before saying more.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hmm, "discount the future", yet everyone is having kids.

Only in the third world. Ironically..or perhaps tellingly...birth rates in the industrialized world are waaayyyy down.

nzm said...

This link is the search page for the UAE's Gulf News.

On it you'll find a lot of reports on Cyclone Gonu.

At least 28 confirmed dead so far. The worst was because of the sudden flash floods in the wadis which always takes people by surprise.