HOUSTON (Reuters) – A strengthening Hurricane Delta dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico production in 15 years, halting most of the region’s oil and nearly two-thirds of its natural gas output.

An already large and powerful storm, Delta could intensify further on Friday as it churns through the Gulf’s prime oil-producing area. Its winds reached 120 miles per hour (195 kmh), according to the National Hurricane Center.

Delta has shut 1.67 million barrels per day, or 92% of the Gulf’s oil output, the most since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 100 offshore platforms and hobbled output for months.

Oil prices eased in early trading in Asia on Friday, but were on track for gains of about 10% for the week, boosted by outages in the Gulf of Mexico and a labor dispute in the North Sea. The two combined have removed 3.17 million barrels per day from the market.

Workers had evacuated 279 offshore Gulf of Mexico facilities and producers moved 15 drilling rigs away from Delta’s large and strong windfield. Tropical force winds stretched up to 160 miles from its center, the NHC said, a sign of its large size.

Delta will decrease as it approaches the coast but is expected to remain a Category 3 storm on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale. It will bring a 4- to 11-foot (1.2-3.3 meters) storm surge to the coast near landfall, the NHC said.

In addition to oil, producers have halted nearly 62% of the region’s natural gas output, or 1.675 billion cubic feet per day. Offshore Gulf of Mexico fields produce about 15% of U.S. crude oil and 5% of its natural gas production.

Total SA on Thursday began shutting an oil processing unit at its 225,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery because of

KEY POINTS

  • The move is expected to create thousands of green jobs
  • Investments of over $35B were seen in offshore wind in the first half of 2020 
  • U.K. leads Germany, China, and Denmark in offshore wind power

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Tuesday to tap United Kingdom’s offshore wind energy to power every home in the country by 2030, to be a part of the world’s shift away from fossil fuels.

“As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the U.K. is to wind—a place of almost limitless resource, but in case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson’s government launched a new target to generate 40 Gigawatt of energy by 2030. This is 15 times more than what offshore wind currently delivers across the world and four times more than U.K.’s own offshore wind capacity, according to The Guardian.

Offshore wind energy, even though expensive, is a useful renewable resource, especially in coastal areas. It does not consume water and does not emit any environmental pollutants or greenhouse gases. The U.K. is the leader in the use of offshore wind, with almost 10 gigawatts of installed turbines, way ahead of Germany, China, and Denmark, as per Bloomberg data.

A total of $207 million will be set aside to upgrade present infrastructure in the U.K. for the same, even though research by an Oxford-based Aurora Energy Research, according to The Guardian, said expenditure required is close to 50 billion pounds, or $64.4 billion. It also suggested that a wind turbine would have to be installed every weekday for the whole of the next decade to deliver on this promise.

Johnson’s ambitious plan is central to the U.K.’s efforts to “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic the world is

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In 2016, the world’s largest ever data leak dubbed “The Panama Papers” exposed a scandal, uncovering a vast global network of people—including celebrities and world leaders, who used offshore tax havens, anonymous transactions through intermediaries and shell corporations to hide their wealth, grow their fortunes and avoid taxes.


Researchers at USC Viterbi School of Engineering have now conducted a deep analysis of the entities and their interrelationships that were originally revealed in the 11.5 million files leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The academic researchers have made some discoveries about how this network and transactions operate, uncovering uniquely fragmented network behavior, vastly different from more traditional social or organizational networks, demonstrating why these systems of transactions and associations are so robust and difficult to infiltrate or take down. The work has been published in Applied Network Science.

Lead author Mayank Kejriwal is an assistant professor working in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and USC’s Information Sciences Institute who studies complex (typically, social) systems like online trafficking markets using computational methods and network science. He said the research team’s aim was to study the Panama Papers network as a whole, in the same way you might study a social network like Facebook, to try to understand what the network behavior can tell us about how money can be moved.

“In general, in any social network like LinkedIn or Facebook, there is something called ‘Small World Phenomenon’, which means that you’re only ever around six people away from anyone in the world,” Kejriwal said.

“For instance, if you want get from yourself to Bill Gates, on average you would be around six connections away,” he said.

However the team discovered that the Panama Papers network was about as far removed