As of 11 pm EDT Saturday night, meet Hurricane Gustav’s new Ground Zero: Port Fourchon.
Port Fourchon is not some sleepy little fishing village. Port Fourchon is an important operating base for the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Some 18% of the nation’s oil supply comes ashore via pipeline at Port Fourchon. That includes production from Deepwater and Shelf producing platforms, but also the “LOOP” — the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, an offshore pipeline station and the only port in the country that can accommodate the largest supertankers.
Trust me, this is not good.The Port is connected with the mainland by LA Highway 1, a precarious, well traveled road through the fragile coastal marsh. Here’s how LA 1 looked after Hurricane Katrina: