Crude oil price increase likely to hurt industry

GULF COAST – The recent hurricanes have driven up the price of crude oil, which is likely to further increase material prices for boat builders.

Hurricane Ivan in particular has been responsible for the increasing oil prices. It slammed into the Gulf Coast early Thursday – with its eye moving ashore just after 2 a.m. CDT at Gulf Shores, Ala., according to story from the Reuters news service this morning.

Ivan’s meandering path through the Gulf of Mexico in recent days prompted widespread evacuations throughout the region, including at least 13,000 offshore oil workers, reducing oil production by 1.3 million barrels a day, the Bloomberg news service reported today.

The hurricane has idled 10 percent to 15 percent of refining capacity in the U.S., Bloomberg said.

With marine industry materials manufacturers and suppliers already hit hard by the high price of oil – which is a feedstock for many of the chemicals they use to make coatings and resins – a further decrease in supply is not good news. Damage to refineries in the region could shut down processing capacity for weeks, Bloomberg reported.

And that’s not the only loss experienced by the boating community as a result of the hurricanes. Experts said Ivan could cause up to $10 billion in insured losses in the U.S. on top of the $1 billion to $2 billion in losses in the Caribbean. Hurricanes Charley and Frances caused a collective $11 billion in insured damages after tearing through Florida in the past four weeks, according to Reuters.

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