Final Count: MMS Declares 60 Platforms Destroyed by Hurricanes
Minerals Management Service (MMS) Gulf of Mexico Regional Office staff have completed the assessment of destroyed and damaged facilities from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The assessment was conducted in coordination with the oil and gas operators who report the status of their production platforms to MMS following a storm.
MMS estimates that approximately 2,127 oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were exposed to hurricane conditions, with winds greater than 74 miles per hour, from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. As of August 2008, there were more than 3,800 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico; these structures range in size from single well caissons in water depths of ten feet to a large complex facility in water depth greater than 7,000 feet.
Final results of the assessment indicate that 60 platforms were destroyed as a result of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Some platforms which had been previously reported as having extensive damage were re-assessed and determined to be destroyed. The destroyed platforms produced 13,657 barrels of oil and 96,490,000 cubic feet of gas daily or 1.05% of the oil and 1.3% of the gas produced daily in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the final assessment, MMS has confirmed that 31 platforms with extensive damage may take from three to six months to repair. Damage that would be considered extensive could include underwater structural damage or major damage to pipelines carrying the oil or natural gas to shore.
Also in the final assessment, MMS has confirmed that 93 platforms with moderate damage which may take from one to three months to repair. Damage that would be considered moderate may include major topside damage to critical process equipment such as the platform's compressor or damaged risers or flex joints where pipelines connect to the platforms.