El Paso Corporation Provides Hurricane Update
El Paso provides a report on the impact of Hurricane Rita on its natural gas pipeline and production businesses. The company is assessing damage to onshore and offshore facilities and pipelines in Texas and Louisiana and beginning to carry out repairs after the passage of Hurricane Rita. In addition, the company is in process of re-assessing onshore pipelines and facilities for possible new damage in parishes south of New Orleans and offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
"I am extremely proud of the collective efforts of our employees whose actions in advance of the storm served us well," said Doug Foshee, president and CEO of El Paso Corporation. "Strategic pre-planning enabled our employees to have supplies, equipment, vehicles, and aircraft staged in safe locations in advance of the storm. Also, we were able to maintain critical business functions in Houston and from other locations as a result of established emergency response plans," Foshee said.
Pipeline Group Update
While the assessment process continues, the majority of Rita-related damage to El Paso's onshore pipeline facilities in East and Southeast Texas includes downed trees, broken windows, minor mechanical damage at various facilities, some communications and measurement equipment damage, and area power outages affecting some facilities. Damage assessments are now beginning in harder-hit areas of southwestern Louisiana and areas offshore.
Hurricane Katrina-related repair operations that were suspended in areas south of New Orleans and offshore because of Rita have begun again, but some repairs are being temporarily hampered by flooding in the Houma area and offshore weather conditions.
El Paso's pipelines had 1.2 Bcf of natural gas supply shut-in prior to Rita -- 650 MMcf on TGP and 550 MMcf on SNG, respectively. Rita resulted in an incremental reduction in supply of approximately 1.2 Bcf on the TGP system and about 400 MMcf on the SNG system as a result of reductions in supply at some upstream pipeline interconnects on the SNG system. The ANR system, which did not have any shut-in volumes prior to Rita, has approximately 1.3 Bcf shut-in.
El Paso operates a total of 77 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is now transporting personnel back to the company's 19 manned platforms and inspecting offshore facilities. In the Eastern Gulf all platforms have been manned and power restored. Production from these fields will resume as early as tomorrow pending notification from pipelines. In the Central and Western Gulf, the process of re-manning and inspecting facilities continues. All of the approximately 170 MMcfe/d of production net to El Paso that was producing before the storm was shut in because of the storm.
In the Texas Gulf Coast and Arklatex areas, production has been curtailed due to processing facility constraints. In the Texas Gulf Coast as much as 53 MMcfe/d had been shut-in during the storm with approximately 40 MMcfe/d remaining shut in at this time. In Arklatex, approximately 11 MMcfe/d is currently non producing due to processing facilities affected by the storm.
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