Texas Business Report: Hurricane Isaac Could Set Oil Companies Back $1 Billion

 "Damage to fixed, floating and underwater assets” including offshore platforms and pipelines could shut down 95 percent of production in the Gulf. 
Sat September 1, 2012 3:38 am
Rex Features via AP Images

The Texas economy is one of the most robust in the world. Wildly profitable companies and ingenious entrepreneurs call this state home, and what happens here influences businesses around the nation. Here’s a slice of the profits, losses, big deals, and backroom decisions happening across Texas this week.

Gulf Clubbed
Although Hurricane Isaac did not prove as disruptive to Gulf oil operations as initially expected, some analysts estimate that damages and lost production due to the storm could still cost energy producers as much as $1 billion. Eqecat, a catastrophe risk modeling firm, said those expenses would come from “damage to fixed, floating and underwater assets” including offshore platforms and pipelines, the Houston Chronicle reports. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and other companies are still evaluating the conditions of their offshore rigs and onshore refineries.

The Bottom Line: Isaac had threatened to bring about a spike in oil prices due to increased demand associated with the temporary shutdown of about 95 percent of production in the Gulf. However, according to Reuters, inventories have remained relatively stable, and crude prices and oil futures began to drop off on Wednesday as the storm weakened.

Mobile Money, Mo’ Profits
AT&T is set to unveil its new mobile payment platform — a joint venture with Verizon and T-Mobile — in September after slogging through several months of delays. The mobile wallet service, called Isis, will make it possible for shoppers to make purchases by tapping their smart phones at the checkout counter, Bloomberg reports. Isis will first be introduced in Austin and Salt Lake City next month before expanding to other markets across the country in phases.

The Bottom Line: The popularity of mobile payment systems, which are based on a relatively new technology called near field communication, is poised to grow dramatically in the next few years. Analysts predict the industry will “rise almost fourfold in total volume to more than $1.3 trillion by 2017,” according to Bloomberg. Google and EBay have already entered the fray of mobile wallet

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