Aug. 28, 2012 – With Hurricane Isaac reaching Category 1 strength today just after noon (CST) in the Gulf of Mexico, the nation prepares for its impact. The pump and oil and gas industries will be affected and have already taken precautions.
Oil and Gas Industry
Oil and gas professionals in the Gulf region have been preparing for the approaching storm. Gulfport Energy Corporation has taken precautionary measures and initiated procedures to shut in and evacuate all field personnel at its West Cote Blanche Bay field location, which is west of New Orleans.
ExxonMobil has evacuated personnel from offshore facilities that are believed to be in Isaac’s path. Chalmette Refining, LLC (Chalmette, La.), has initiated a safe and systematic shutdown of its operations. ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge, La., facilities have also conducted their hurricane preparedness plans. The company continues to monitor the changing situation to maintain the safety of its personnel and communities. For continued updates, visit www.exxonmobil.com.
In addition, the Dynamic Fuels Geismar Plant has completed normal shutdown and secured its property—part of its hurricane procedures.
Monumental New Orleans Pump Station May Face First Test
New Orleans is in the center of its projected path, eerily similar to when Hurricane Katrina moved across the Gulf of Mexico seven years ago. The effects of Hurricane Katrina are still evident in the Big Easy, even though much of the area has gone back to normal. Preventing another Katrina-like flood was foremost in the minds of the city and the Army Corps of Engineers, as levees were reinforced and rebuilt. Another solution was also devised—the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex, which has been operational since summer 2011, to protect the city from another overwhelming flood. This station may face its first test as Isaac makes landfall near the city.
With an expected landfall of late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, seven years to the day after Katrina, all eyes will be on New Orleans with hopes that, if needed, the GIWW West Closure Complex will keep the vulnerable city safe. Pentair, the manufacturer of the pumps used in the station, will have pump service personnel ready in the event that they are needed.
For more information on the pump station and the pumps it houses, read The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex to Protect New Orleans.