The effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused unprecedented and prolonged evacuations, as well as the shut-in of offshore facilities that in turn affected the nation's domestic oil and gas supply. The storms were the worst in the history of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. In comparison with Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita accounted for considerably more damage because of the paths taken by these two devastating storms.
However, the offshore industry was able to maintain a record of no loss of life and no significant environmental damage from wells on the outer continental shelf (OCS) during both storms.
"Although, the past hurricane season was devastating and the obstacles created by this storm are still being tackled, MMS stands firm with a commitment to operations safety and excellence," Minerals Management Service Director Johnnie Burton said. "We are fully aware of the challenges we face in the upcoming season and have worked closely with the oil and gas industry and other Federal agencies in developing stronger safety standards for Gulf operations. Because of that advanced work, we are better prepared this year, but one can never be truly ready for a hurricane."
In preparation for Hurricane season 2006, MMS implemented several improvements to their oversight system. They include:
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