Modeling Hurricane Impacts On Gulf Of Mexico Offshore Structures. Why Size Matters

Tuesday, 19 April 2016: 9:30 AM
Miramar 1 & 2 (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Jill F. Hasling, Weather Research Center, Houston, TX
Manuscript (4.3 MB)

After the impact of Hurricane Ivan (2004), Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), and Hurricane Ike (2008) in the Gulf of Mexico, the author has been studying the impacts of hurricanes on offshore structures. The Gulf of Mexico Offshore Industry conducted detailed analysis of the impacts on offshore structures after Hurricane Andrew (1992) resulting in estimates of risk to offshore structures. This was done by taking an Andrew- type hurricane on thousands of tracks throughout the Gulf of Mexico oil leases. This information was used to make hurricane risk decisions by insurers. Prior to 2005, there were over four thousand (4,000) offshore structures in the Gulf of Mexico oil leases. This paper will go through the history of offshore structures in the Gulf of Mexico and the impacts of hurricanes on these structures. The research has shown that an Andrew- type hurricane under-estimated the impact that the size of the hurricane plays in the number of platforms that would experience damage and destruction. The research shows that size matters when it comes to estimating the height of the waves in a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and what damage will be inflicted on the offshore properties. Historical Gulf of Mexico hurricanes such as Carla (1961), Camille (1969), Hilda (1964), Betsy (1965), Celia (1970), Carmen (1974), Allen (1980), Alicia (1983), and Lili (2002), were researched and the wind and wave fields modeled for comparison. These wind and wave fields were then compared to Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita and Ike and a scale was developed to describe the impact from these hurricanes on offshore structures. The paper will include a section on the impact of what a hurricane such as Hurricanes Patricia's and Joaquin's, on Hurricane Ike's track, would have on offshore
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