Cyclone Gonu Thread 1
NB: New Thread Created on Front Page at Noon EDT on 6/7, here is a link to our most recent (4th) Gonu thread. The second thread (6/5) can be found here and the third thread can be found here. The most recent thread will always be available at the top of The Oil Drum's front page.
Please put all new resources and insights on Iran/Oman there--but also make sure to scroll through this thread and bring over things we might have missed to the new comment thread.
Exclusive--Please credit THE OIL DRUM and Chuck Watson of KAC/UCF.
KAC/UCF and Chuck Watson are forecasting, based on their damage models, that the Qalhat (Sur) LNG terminal will be out for 20-30 days and the Mina al Fahal oil terminal will be down for 10-15 days--all of this assuming they are built to US standards.
If you have any insights, please email the editors box with the word GONU in the subject.
Last updated at 10:30am EDT.
Why might Gonu matter? Well, that answer begins with the fact that the world production of petroleum plateauing around 85 mbbl/day, any slight blip in supply or exporting could be quite noticeable on the world markets. A sizeable portion of the world's petroleum exports go through the Gulf of Oman.
Particularly, Oman matters in this because it produces 743,000 bbl/day; Oman is also a net exporter, non-OPEC, whose production peaked earlier in the decade. (Thanks to Mike from Green Car Congress for the link.).
Of course, this storm also has the potential to affect Iran, UAE, India, and/or Pakistan for that matter--mainly because of shipping disruptions, but there could be some real effects on infrastructure and assets depending on track and landfall. There are also refining and other production assets in Southern Iran, especially in Chah Bahar.
(One will note, as you explore the old comment thread that many of these possibilities are explored...there's a lot of material that we are still sorting through on Iran, shipping lanes, storm surge, etc.)
Resources put under the fold (hit "There's more" to load).
The Storm surge shown (10-15 ft) will almost certainly hit the Iran coast - even if the storm weakens to a strong CAT 2 late Tuesday (NY time). The Eastern tip of Oman will likely also experience 10-15 foot surge due to the close proximity of the storm track. Further up the Gulf, before reaching the Straits of Hormuz - storm surge heights of 1-4 feet are expected on the Oman side, and 4-possibly 6 feet on the Iranian side near the entrance to the Straits. Significant wave heights will be 20-30 feet, dropping to 15 feet near the Straits.
This is an unprecedented event. NO CYCLONE has ever entered the Gulf of Oman. And there are no custom 'storm surge' models available for that area. This forecast is based on my experience and subjective analysis of the seabed slope and storm surge interaction with the sea floor. Considering the region has never experienced a hurricane, let alone a strong one it is highly unlikely the loading facilities or platforms were constructed to withstand the forces - both wave action and wind force - that they will experience. Significant, damage will occur. How much long term damage, and the volumes associated with it - can not be determined at this time.
And here's the latest projected track:
As for damage assessments, a tip of the hat to Kinetic Analysis Corporation (affiliated with the University of Central Florida). Early estimates of damage and tracking are available here (Scroll down to Gonu). Here's a graphic:
Chuck Watson of KAC/UCF has also been kind enough to send us some graphics of the storm surge model with the current forecast:
Also, click "there's more" below for more graphics and links, and there's much more from our readers in the comment thread as well...
Sorted by date...
--I can say with confidence that this forecaster has never seen the likes of this
If you go here, and click
on the North Indian Ocean links, you can get a feel for how rare this is. From 1995 on, no tropical storm of any strength ever reached the Persian Gulf.