In the energy industry, the unthinkable has perhaps already happened: the $40 billion in losses associated with the Macondo well that blew out last year were utterly unprecedented. Most of that risk was uninsured, so the energy market got off relatively lightly in this case.
But as the drive to drill wells similar to Macondo continues, the nightmare scenario for the energy market is the “perfect storm” of another blowout of a similar nature combined with a Gulf of Mexico windstorm on the scale of a Katrina, Rita or Ike. That would almost certainly lead to underwriting losses that would be sufficient to prompt a potential capacity crisis.
|This post was part of the special feature about Our Scariest Risks, published October 31, 2011. The feature also included these other risks:|