Coast Guard Updates on Conditions at Ports Impacted by Harvey

A drillship which grounded during Hurricane Harvey blocks the channel to the port of Corpus Christi at Port Aransas, Texas, Aug. 26, 2017. As of Tuesday the drillship was still aground. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland.

 

Update: Port of Corpus Christi update to port condition Modified Zulu for the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor. More below…

The U.S. Coast Guard along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office has provided an update on port conditions set within the areas effected by Hurricane Harvey and the surrounding areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Harvey, now a tropical storm, has resulted in significant flooding and impacts for ports along the Texas coast. “The Coast Guard along with the ASCOE and TGLO understand the international and global significance of the Gulf Coast ports and are currently conducting surveys and thorough port assessments prior to reopening,” the Coast Guard said in a statement Tuesday.

Port closures for Tuesday are as follows: 

The below ports were in the direct path of Harvey and Coast Guard port conditions in effect for Tuesday are as follows:

Corpus Christi:

Port of Brownsville – port condition normal
Port of Corpus Christi – Port Condition Zulu
Calhoun Port Authority – Port Condition Zulu

Houston:

Freeport – Port Condition Zulu
Galveston – Port Condition Zulu
Houston – Port Condition Zulu
Texas City – Port Condition Zulu

Port Condition ZULU: A danger condition in which gale force winds are possible within 12 hours. In Port Condition ZULU the port is closed and all port operations are suspended except for vessel movements and activities specifically authorized by the Coast Guard COTP.

“The Coast Guard is working very closely with our federal, state and local partners to make sure we do this as safely and quickly as possible,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, incident commander and captain of the port in Corpus Christi. “We are continuing port assessments and collecting data on damage, debris and pollution in order to regain full operation of the affected ports.

The port of Galveston and Houston will remain closed Wednesday.

“All Port Houston facilities will remain closed on Wednesday, August 30th due to the weather impact across Houston. We will be continuing to monitor weather conditions to determine when operations can safely resume. At this point no indications from the U.S. Coast Guard on when the Houston Ship Channel will reopen for vessel transits. Updates will be provided as more information is available,” Port Houston said in an update Tuesday.

An update Tuesday afternoon from the Port of Galveston said conditions will remain at Zulu for the next 24 hours. 

Later on Tuesday, Coast Guard captain of the port in Corpus Christi implemented Port Condition Modified Zulu for the Port of Corpus Christi Inner Harbor.

Modified Zulu allows tug and barges with drafts not exceeding 20-feet currently in the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor to transit freely within the Inner Harbor with no requirements to seek the COTP permission to move.

“Mariners are to proceed with caution as navigational ads may be missing or off station. All other portions of the captain of the port zone remains in Port Condition Zulu unless they have already been cleared by the COTP,” the Coast Guard said.

“I applaud the incredible work of the Port of Corpus Christi, the Army Corp of Engineers and all industry facilities working hard and collaborating in this process,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, COTP of Corpus Christi. “This is a first step but also a very important one towards restoring full capability of the port.”

Offshore Oil and Gas Update

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has provided the following update on offshore oil and gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico, as of 11:30 CDT on August 29.

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated platforms and rigs in response to Tropical Storm Harvey.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 102 production platforms, 13.84 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Personnel have been evacuated from five rigs (non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig), equivalent to 50 percent of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.

None of the 21 DP rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have had to move off location.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 18.26 percent of the current oil production of 1,750,000 barrels of oil per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 319,523 barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 19.1 percent of the natural gas production of 3,220 million cubic feet per day, or 615.09 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

BSEE statistics as of 11:30 CDT on August 29.

Coast Guard Port Conditions

Port condition are a gradual, time phased development based on impact of storm and assessment of safety conditions. The definitions are as follows:

Port Condition WHISKEY: A heightened condition in which gale force winds are possible within 72 hours. All commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons and all oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs shall report to the Coast Guard Captain of the Port their intention to depart or remain in port. They shall also complete an application and submit it in writing within 24 hours to the Coast Guard COTP to remain in port.

Port Condition X-RAY: A readiness condition in which gale force winds are possible within 48 hours. Vessels more than 500 gross tons and oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs should make preparations to leave the port or have received permission from the Coast Guard COTP to remain in port.

Port Condition YANKEE: A warning condition in which gale force winds are possible within 24 hours. During Port Condition YANKEE all affected ports are under vessel traffic control measures. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons and oceangoing barges and their supporting tugs with permission to remain in port should make their final mooring arrangements.

Port Condition ZULU: A danger condition in which gale force winds are possible within 12 hours. In Port Condition ZULU the port is closed and all port operations are suspended except for vessel movements and activities specifically authorized by the Coast Guard COTP