Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oil and the White Swan Non-Event

The expected continues not to happen.

Black swan events tend to be thought of as low probability events which occur. There can also of course be events which are highly expected (White Swans ?) but which do not occur.

As a result of the 2005 hurricane season, 166 million barrels cumulatively were shut in. That was an extreme year for tropical storms. The 2009 hurricane season is now looking as if it will be the other extreme with no oil and gas production shut ins so far.

The US EIA carried out an analysis earlier this year and assigned a 4% probability to the 2009 hurricane season resulting in no shut ins. The EIA forecast a total cumulative shut in value of 4.5 million barrels of crude to be shut in. So far there has been no US Gulf Coast shut ins. The following chart of Google searches for the word hurricane (updated to Sep 13, 2009) nicely reflects the benign nature of the 2009 hurricane season to date.

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