Recently hit with a one-two punch from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the oil and gas industry operating in the US Gulf of Mexico is assessing damage, repopulating rigs and facilities with personnel, and starting production up after the storm.
The US Minerals Management Service has reported that companies are "reboarding platforms and rigs and restoring production following both Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike." Currently personnel are evacuated from 326 production platforms (45.5% of those operating in the US GOM) and 19 drilling rigs (or 15.7%).
Although production continues to be shut-in, operators are in the process of starting facilities up. As of 11:30 am, Sept. 18, about 93% of the oil and 77.6% of the natural gas production continues to be shut-in in the GOM, home to 25% of the nation's oil and around 13% of its natural gas production.
Today, Shell redeployed 820 personnel in its efforts to restart operations at its facilities, including the Mars, Ursa and Ram-Powell platforms in the eastern GOM, over the next few days.
Also in the eastern GOM, Anadarko successfully restored production at the Independence Hub, and Anadarko's Neptune facility is ready to resume production as pipelines permit.
On Sept. 16, Marathon determined that its Lobster Platform at Ewing Bank 873 had sustained damage to its lower decks. Likewise, BP's Mad Dog spar, which was directly in Ike's path, sustained significant damage with the displacement of its drilling derrick, previously atop the platform and now toppled on the sea bed. Pride International's own Pride Wyoming jackup was reported as missing and a 'total loss' for the company.
Chevron's reconnaissance flights indicated that several of its platforms were also toppled in the eastern and western shelf areas. Shell cited 'moderate damage' to its assets, including damage found on such things as grating, tubing and cable trays, displaced equipment and missing or damaged escape capsules. However, assessments are ongoing and could take weeks to fully determine the substantial loss and damage for all of the companies' assets in the GOM.
Despite the expected delays in getting production back on-line to pre-storm levels, as well as utilizing the time needed to assess all of the damage incurred by Hurricane Ike, GOM operators are making significant strides to restart and ramp up production as quickly as possible. Once all offshore personnel are redeployed within the next week, more operational information and production forecasts will be issued.
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