(PORT FOURCHON, La.) — Port Fourchon, America’s largest base supporting the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore oil industry, will take weeks to recover after Hurricane Ida tore through the Louisiana community, according to a report by World Oil.
“How many weeks is a good question,” Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, said in an interview with National Public Radio that aired on Tuesday. “We have a long road ahead of us and there’s a lot of damage for us to assess and try to recover from.”
Damage to the port, which services about 90 percent of output from U.S. Gulf deepwater oil and natural gas wells, is extensive and widespread, he said. Louisiana Highway 1 will need to be cleared of debris for heavy equipment to travel south to the port, while navigable waters around the port will have to be surveyed for safe travel.
Thad Angelloz, a spokesman for the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, gave Bloomberg News a slightly more upbeat assessment on Tuesday.
“While damaged, we are hopeful in the fact that a lot of key infrastructure remains and looks to have stood up well to the onslaught of this historic hurricane,” Angelloz said. “We have fully transitioned to our recovery phase where we enter the port and access the area’s roadways, waterways and facilities.”
More than 250 companies working in the U.S. Gulf use Port Fourchon as a base of operations. It’s a key transit point for multiple crude pipelines that receive barrels produced from the Gulf of Mexico. From Fourchon, pipes head to hubs in Clovelly and St. James, which host large storage facilities and terminals.