BOEMRE Reports Final Update on Tropical Storm Don

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Hurricane Response Team is concluding its activities related to Tropical Storm Don.

This is the final update of evacuation and shut-in production statistics for Tropical Storm Don.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT today, none of the 617 manned production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico remain evacuated. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration.

None of the 62 rigs currently operating in the Gulf remain evacuated. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, submersibles and semisubmersibles.

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate the applicable shut-in procedure, which can frequently be accomplished from a remote location. This involves closing the sub-surface safety valves located below the surface of the ocean floor to prevent the release of oil or gas. During the recent hurricane seasons, the shut-in valves functioned 100 percent of the time, efficiently shutting in production from wells on the Outer Continental Shelf and protecting the marine and coastal environments. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 2.3 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 0.9 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. The remaining shut-in production is not associated with any reported damage.

The production percentages are calculated using information submitted by offshore operators in daily reports. Shut-in production information included in these reports is based on the amount of oil and gas the operator expected to produce that day. The shut-in production figures therefore are estimates, which BOEMRE compares to historical production reports to ensure the estimates follow a logical pattern.

After the tropical storm passes, facilities are inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities is brought back on line immediately. Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back on line. BOEMRE will no longer report Tropical Storm Don statistics.

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