Hurricane Isaac caused considerable disruption to natural gas processing infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, although it had a negligible effect on natural gas prices because of ample onshore production and surplus storage, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday.

Isaac made landfall on the evening of Aug. 28 and ultimately disrupted gas processing operations for more than 10 Bcf/d of the 13.5 Bcf/d of total processing capacity in the affected area. EIA's survey of the impact included plants in the region with capacities of more than 100 MMcf/d.

Just prior to Isaac making landfall, there were 25 processing plants in the affected area that were not undergoing maintenance, accounting for 12.6 Bcf/d of available capacity. However, widespread power outages (affecting nearly 890,000 customers in Louisiana), reduced gas flows and flooding threats reduced or curtailed operations at many of these plants, as shown by a map on EIA's website.

Plants most commonly attributed closures to a lack of upstream supply, although a few also cited damage to downstream infrastructure that would receive their dry gas or their natural gas liquids products, EIA said.

The Department of Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's final update on Isaac's impact was released Tuesday and said that less than 5% of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production remained shut in (see Daily GPI, Sept. 12).

The last time EIA collected such data on gas processing shut-ins (through its Form EIA-757B) was for Hurricane Ike in September and October 2008 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 19, 2008).

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