Is the U.S. Fuels Infrastructure Resilient? An Examination of Natural Disaster Vulnerabilities
- H. Mohan (INTEK Inc.) | P. M. Crawford (INTEK Inc.) | M. J. Carolus (INTEK Inc.) | G. Kuczma (INTEK Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Western Regional Meeting, 22-26 April, Garden Grove, California, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.10.2 Natural Gas Storage, 7 Management and Information, 5.10 Storage Reservoir Engineering, 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 7.4 Energy Economics, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 7.2 Risk Management and Decision-Making, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing
- resiliency, Vulnerability, Infrastructure, Mitigation, Risk
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The U.S. fuels infrastructure has undergone significant changes in the last several years. These changes are in response to shifts in domestic production, imports and exports, processing and distribution. The objective of this analysis is to define and model the U.S. fuels infrastructure, from production, transportation, and processing of crude oil to the distribution, storage, and consumption of refined products, and assess resiliency to natural disasters. This has become a pressing concern in the wake of Hurricane Harvey's impacts on U.S. infrastructure and fuels markets.Methods, procedures, process
The analysis was conducted through a detailed assessment of the petroleum infrastructure, including wells, pipelines, refineries, crude and product terminals, import and export facilities, natural gas storage and processing facilities, and other key components. Interdependencies between petroleum and other types of infrastructure were also evaluated. As part of this analysis, a wide range of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and wildfires, were considered. For each of these natural threats, the geographic risks, the severity and type of damage, the likelihood of that damage, and the time required for recovery were all established using the latest available research.
To complete the analysis several tools were developed and applied. These include a comprehensive geospatial system used to identify major markets and submarkets and to determine dependencies and vulnerabilities; models of the market supply/demand requirements; a national disruption model which details the major crude and product markets; and disruption models to predict the impact on crude and refined products from hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.Results, observations, conclusions
The analysis showed that the U.S. fuels infrastructure is vulnerable to being impaired by natural disasters. Furthermore, the interdependencies of the infrastructure, in terms of both type of infrastructure and geographic location, leave the U.S. vulnerable to cascading risks. As part of the study, potential mitigation efforts were determined to address regional and national vulnerabilities. The proposed mitigation efforts have been incorporated into the Department of Energy's recent Quadrennial Energy Review. This study provides an update and extension of work performed earlier.Novel/additive information
The paper provides a detailed assessment of the U.S. fuels infrastructure and its vulnerabilities to natural threats. These include earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters. For each of these threats, the geographic risks, as well as the type, probability, and severity of damage, are discussed. Finally, case studies of recent disasters, including the impact of Harvey on the Gulf Coast, Midcontinent, and East Coast, are used to illustrate the fuels infrastructure vulnerabilities and the need for mitigation.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||21|
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