I'm in no position to vet any of this, but thought it worthy of attention anyway.
First, Stand Strong's diary at dKos describes the devastation to Gulf Coast oil rigs, with AFP reporting 20 rigs missing.
Following links out from this diary brings us to word from an "oil industry insider" that paints a very grim picture of what's going on (and not being reported - yet).
In short, the Gulf area hit by the storm is basically in about the same shape as Biloxi. The damage numbers you have gotten from the government and analysts are, in my opinion, much too low. We are looking at YEARS to return to the production levels we had prior to the storm. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is primarily oil production...The "insider" points to this article, so I presume these are the "numbers" referred to are here. Some of the grisly highlights:
- Hurricane Katrina smashes "Energy Alley," a concentrated area of oil production in Gulf of Mexico that supplies about 35% of America's domestic oil.
- White House says oil will get cheaper, but makes hush-hush plans to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 42% to ONE BILLION barrels of crude. Why are they so eager to add to the SPR when oil prices are high?
- Saudis reveal they won't be able to meet oil demand Â first time EVER they've admitted the awful truth.
Hyperbole aside, this article raises some pointed questions that I'd like to see answered. Not holding my breath, but if anyone can shed any light on this, I'd appreciate it.