The United States and the Caribbean have been impacted by two hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) of rare severity over the recent two weeks. The hurricanes have caused a substantial amount of damage to the offshore and coastal infrastructure in the United States and the Caribbean. The reconstruction effort will involve a substantial amount of underwater work, and the Company expects that it will substantially increase the need for its vehicles. The Company is undertaking a series of initiatives, described further below, in connection with these hurricanes.
Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. Harvey inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and caused at least 71 confirmed deaths. The director of the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency Brock Long called Harvey the worst disaster in Texas history, and said that he expected the recovery to take many years. Economic losses from Harvey have been preliminarily estimated at between US$70 billion and US$200 billion.
Harvey’s effect has been particularly pronounced on the U.S. energy industry (and in particular its offshore production) and port/maritime industry. The Gulf Coast of the United States (i.e. the U.S. waters in, and coastline abutting, the Gulf of Mexico), is home to a large number of shipping facilities and the seat of around a third of U.S. oil refining and a substantial amount of offshore energy production. In the wake of Harvey, energy production in the Gulf of Mexico declined by approximately 21% — 378,633 barrels per day of the 1.75 million barrels of oil produced each day. Natural gas production declined by about 25.71% — 827.89 million metric standard cubic meters per day. For safety reasons, 105 of the 737 offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated before the storm made landfall on Friday.
Harvey also closed many ports – the Houston shipping channel was shut down and ports at Corpus Christi and Galveston were also closed due to the hurricane. Subsequently to the hurricane, Bloomberg reported that the impact of flooding on some ports may be serious.
Hurricane Irma was the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to hit the state of Florida since Wilma in 2005, breaching the Florida Keys approximately two weeks after Hurricane Harvey struck in Texas. Prior to making landfall in the United States Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands. Irma’s predicted path was such that 1.3 million people were affected by mandatory evacuation orders in Florida alone, with up to 6 million people voluntarily evacuating. At the time of writing it was reported to have caused at least 21 deaths. Economic losses from Irma have been preliminarily estimated at more than US$300 billion by multiple sources.
Impact on Aquabotix
The Company is undertaking a series of initiatives with the view to equipping existing and new clients with specialist commercial-grade remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that will be required to meet the increased demand for inspection, assessment and recovery activities as a result of damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Aquabotix is actively engaging with:
- Specialist distributors in Florida and the broader Gulf of Mexico region,
- Local and state governments,
- Existing and new U.S. federal customers, including the existing U.S. Coast Guard customer, and
- Existing oil and gas industry customers.
Brendan Martin – Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +61 (0)2 8294 5360
About UUV Aquabotix Limited
Based in Sydney, Australia and Fall River, Massachusetts, USA, Aquabotix is an established underwater robotics company which manufactures and sells commercial and industrial-grade underwater drones and networked underwater cameras for commercial, high-end consumer and military applications. It is also one of very few companies worldwide offering commercially-available hybrid underwater drones, which are capable of both autonomous and remote operation. The Company owns the intellectual property in a range of unmanned underwater vehicles and underwater camera products and is an early-mover in a nascent industry.
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SOURCE UUV Aquabotix Ltd
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