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Cruise Lines Reroute Ships as Hurricane Florence Strengthens

A number of cruise lines decided to reroute their vessels due to the category 1 hurricane Florence, which gained strength on Sunday in the central Atlantic.

Namely, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line have made changes to their itineraries in an effort to stay clear of the hurricane. The companies are continuing to monitor the situation as the storm is set to strengthen.

Florence is expected to become a major hurricane by Monday night. As of the evening hours of September 9, the hurricane was located about 560 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, with a maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The Miami-based weather forecaster is keeping an eye on two more hurricanes in the Atlantic, namely hurricane Helene and hurricane Isaac. The two had maximum sustained winds of 85 and 75 miles per hour, respectively, in the evening of September 9. At the time, hurricane Helene was located some 195 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands, while Isaac, which is the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, was located around 1,305 miles east of the Windward Islands.

Last week, tropical storm Gordon, the first major weather event of the 2018 hurricane season, carved through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, making landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border on Tuesday night. While this storm caused minimal property damage, it was a poignant reminder of the risks facing the significant energy sector in the U.S. Gulf.
One year ago, Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, made landfall on the central Texas coast and severely disrupted oil production and refining operations in the region. More than 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) of offshore oil production was taken offline and an estimated 3 million b/d of refining capacity was shut down.

“We cannot predict how disruptive this year’s hurricane season is going to be, but with the continued growth of the oil & gas infrastructure in the U.S. Gulf, any significant storm hitting the Gulf Coast increases the risk of disruption to the oil and tanker markets,” Poten & Partners said in its weekly tanker opinion.