MMS Overviews GOM Production Evacuations, Shut-Ins

Tropical Depression Gustav
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Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST today, personnel were evacuated from a total of 626 production platforms, equivalent to 88.2 % of the 717 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Personnel from 110 rigs were also evacuated; this is equivalent to 90.9% of the 121 rigs currently operating in the Gulf.

From the operators' reports, it is estimated that approximately 100% of the oil production in the Gulf was shut-in. Estimated current oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 95.4% of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated current natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico is 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate the shut-in procedure, which can also be accomplished from a remote location. This involves closing the safety valves located below the surface of the ocean to prevent the release of oil or gas. During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the shut-in valves functioned 100 percent of the time, efficiently closing in production from wells and resulting in no major spills from the Outer Continental Shelf. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

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 what the operator expected to produce that day. The shut-in production figures therefore are estimates, which the MMS compares to historical production reports to ensure the estimates follow a logical pattern. 

Read more on preparations for Gustav in Rigzone's Special Coverage Gearing Up for Gustav.
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