After the Storm - Gustav

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Gustav Offshore Damages Minimal
While a significant number of offshore rigs and facilities were in the path of Hurricane Gustav, all early reports are indicating that damage to these structures has been minimal. As yet, there are no reports of major damage to any drilling rigs or floating production systems.

However, even though offshore damage appears to be negligible, it will still be some time before the Gulf of Mexico is back to pre-storm production levels. The majority of the problem lies with the Louisiana power transmission infrastructure, which sustained significant damages including damage to about 40% of the power transmission lines in the affected areas.

Entergy, the power provider for Louisiana, stated that "In terms of power outages, Hurricane Gustav is the second worst in Entergy’s 95-year history, peaking at about 850,000 early Tuesday – the overwhelming majority of them in Louisiana. That easily bypassed the 800,000 outages in Hurricane Rita in 2005. The only larger number of Entergy outages was 1.1 million in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina"

This damage to the power infrastructure is affecting at least five refineries, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), several oil terminals, and pipelines. Many of these facilities will return to at least partial operation using backup power generators.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Gustav's Winds No More Than a Sigh of Relief for GOM Operators
Operators in the Gulf are evaluating their production assets and ensuring that all personnel are safe and secure. The Gulf's production levels have not resumed to normal output at this time, but will resume in the next few days. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Deepwater Facilities Subjected to Hurricane Force Winds
Listed below are the deepwater production facilities that were in the direct path of Hurricane Gustav and which experienced hurricane force winds. Some of the facilities listed are fixed platforms that produce from fields in 1,000ft or greater water depths while others are floating production systems. The list below is ordered by "importance" of the facilities in terms of their production and cost. At the bottom of the list are facilities that have yet to start producing.

Facility Operator Host Type Status
Independence Hub Anadarko Semisub Producing
Na Kika BP Semisub Producing
Devils Tower ENI SPAR Producing
Mars Shell TLP Producing
Ursa Shell TLP Producing
Gomez ATP FPU Producing
Morpeth ENI Mini-TLP Producing
Medusa Murphy SPAR Producing
Matterhorn Total TLP Producing
Lena ExxonMobil Compliant Tower Producing
Crystal Noble Energy Platform Producing
Cognac Shell Platform Producing
Amberjack Stone Energy Platform Producing
Pompano BP Platform Producing
VK900A Chevron Platform Producing
South Pass 89 Marathon Platform Producing
WD143 Hub Shell Platform Producing
Alabaster ExxonMobil Platform Producing
Blind Faith Chevron Semisub Under Const.
Thunder Horse BP Semisub Under Const.
Telemark Hub ATP FPU Under Const.

For a view of these facilities, check out our more detailed "Deepwater Production Facilties That Experienced Hurricane Winds" map.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Drilling Rigs Subjected to Hurricane Force Winds
The list below provides a breakdown by rig type of the offshore drilling rigs that were in the direct path of Hurricane Gustav and subjected to hurricane force winds, some in excess of 110mph.

Rig Name Rig Type
Blake 151 Jackup - IC < 250' WD
Cecil Provine Jackup - IC 300' WD
Dolphin 106 Jackup - MC < 200' WD
ENSCO 68 Jackup - IC 300'+ WD
ENSCO 82 Jackup - IC 300' WD
ENSCO 90 Jackup - IC 250' WD
ENSCO 99 Jackup - IC 250' WD
Hercules 101 Jackup - MC < 200' WD
Hercules 120 Jackup - MC < 200' WD
Hercules 203 Jackup - MC 200'+ WD
Hercules 251 Jackup - MS 200'+ WD
Hercules 257 Jackup - MS 200'+ WD
Hercules 85 Jackup - IS < 250' WD
Ocean Champion Jackup - MS 200'+ WD
Ocean Crusader Jackup - MC 200'+ WD
Ocean Summit Jackup - IC 300' WD
Ocean Titan Jackup - IC 300'+ WD
Pool 53 Jackup - MC < 200' WD
Pride Arizona Jackup - MS 200'+ WD
Pride Florida Jackup - MC 200'+ WD
Pride Kansas Jackup - MC 200'+ WD
Ranger V Jackup - MC < 200' WD
Rowan Alaska Jackup - IS 300'+ WD
Rowan Gorilla IV Jackup - IC 300'+ WD
Noble Joe Alford Submersible
Noble Jim Thompson Moored Semisub
Ocean Quest Moored Semisub
Transocean Amirante Moored Semisub

Several other semisubmersibles and one drillship were also in the direct path of the storm, but these dynamically-positioned rigs were able to move off of location and out of the storm's way in advance of its arrival.

For a view of these rigs, check out our more detailed "Offshore Rigs That Experienced Hurricane Winds" map.

For a look at other rigs that were also subjected to tropical storm force winds from Gustav, read more here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Oil Prices Drop As Gustav Dissipates
As refiners and oil producers have begun to indicate that Gustav has done little significant damage to oil and gas facilities along the Louisian Gulf coast, commodities markets breathed a sign of relief and oil prices have dipped markedly, both in electronic trading on Monday and in early trading on the NYMEX today. read the full article here

Monday, September 1, 2008
Gustav a Fast Mover
Hurricane Gustav moved very quickly through the Gulf of Mexico, lessening its potential for wreaking major damage to offshore platforms and drilling rigs. In the very early hours of Sunday August 31st, Gustav was still located more than 150 southeast of the areas of the GOM open to federal leasing. In less than 36 hours the storm pushed all the way across the federal waters of the Gulf and made landfall. As such, the storm was moving at 14 to 16 knots.

For comparison, when Hurricane Rita moved west-northwest over the federal waters of the GOM, it was moving at speeds between 8 and 10 knots. Given that Gustav was moving 60% to 100% faster than Rita, the offshore infrastructure in its path has been exposed to significantly less hurricane force winds because the storm moved past so quickly.

Gustav's rapid path across the GOM is good news for drilling contractors and operators with assets in the way of the storm since any given location only experienced hurricane force winds for a maximum of about 9 hours for locations directly in the path of the storm eye (140 mile diameter of hurricane force winds moving at 16mph).

Monday, September 1, 2008
Gustav Moving Onshore in Louisiana
Hurricane Gustav made landfall in east central Louisiana this morning around 9:30am CDT. The storm is still at hurricane force and will likely remain so through most of Monday. According to the Hurricane Center:

Gustav will maintain its Category 2 status into the early afternoon as it is still relatively close to Gulf of Mexico waters and is nearly paralleling the coast of south-central Louisiana. Later this afternoon, as more of the storm's circulation moves over land, weakening will accelerate.

Monday, September 1, 2008
Gustav Blowing Hard in the Oilpatch
On Monday morning, Hurricane Gustav was centered off the coast of Lousiana near the borders of South Timbalier, West Delta and Ewing Bank. With hurricane force winds extending approximately 70 miles outwards from the eye of the storm, a large portion of the GOM jackup fleet is currently being battered by more than 100mph winds.

map showing rigs near Gustav's center on Monday, Sept 1

Monday, September 1, 2008
DOE: Production Shut-Ins Well Organized
A US Department of Energy spokesman stated on Sunday that GOM production shut-in had been proceeding in "an organized and expected fashion". According to figures from the Minerals Management Service, 96% of the U.S. Gulf Coast crude production of 1.3 million barrels of day was shut in as of Saturday, while 82% of of natural gas production has been shut in. read the full article here

Sunday, August 31, 2008
More Clarity About Gustav's Landfall
Hurricane Gustav has picked up some speed in terms of it progress northwards. It is currently on a northwesterly trajectory moving at 16 knots (18 mph). This is 50% faster than the 12mph at which it was moving forward on Saturday. That means Gustav will reach the Louisiana coastline by midday Monday instead of early Tuesday, most likely in Terrebonne or Lafourche parish. Gustav's quicker pace also means that the storm will begin impacting the offshore oilpatch by late Sunday night.

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Gustav Now a Category 3 Hurricane
Hurricane Gustav has weakened to a Category 3 storm with 115 MPH winds. According to Chuck Watson at KAC/UCF via, "Given the weaker forecast at landfall, things are not looking as dire. Bad, but not catastrophic... damage has come down to weeks rather than months." more analysis here

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Evacuations & Shut-Ins Well Underway With 30% Platforms Evacuated
According to MMS data gathered at 11:30am CDT Saturday, Aug 30th, personnel have been evacuated from 223 of 717 manned platforms. At the same time, 77% (approx 1 million barrels per day) of GOM oil production and 37% (approx 3.7 billion cubic feet per day) of natural gas production have been shut-in. read the full article here

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Gustav Quickly Gaining Strength
In this morning's update from the Hurricane Center, it is clear that Gustav is quickly picking up steam as it heads north towards Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico:

Maximum-sustained winds are now 120 mph with higher gusts. This makes Gustav a major Category 3 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward from the center for 60 miles and tropical storm winds extend outward from the center for 160 miles. The estimated central pressure is 955 mb, or 28.20 inches. Gustav is gaining strength as is evident from satellite imagery and from land-based radar in Cuba. A distinct eye and eye wall has formed. The system is continuing to really wrap up with moisture feeding into the storm. Gustav will continue to grow in strength as it progresses over warm waters.

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Gustav Could Turn More to the West
Also from the Hurricane Center, weather conditions over the continental United States could push Gustav further west that current forecasts are predicting:

[Hurricane Gustav's] northwest track that will take place into Sunday could break down some on Sunday night and Monday. A large high moves from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast states during this time ridging all the way south to the southeastern U.S. The strength and exact positioning of this high, along with how quickly it moves east, will be the deciding factor of how soon Gustav comes ashore and where. This high could at least slow the forward progress of Gustav and may even deflect it slightly to a more westerly course.

Friday, August 29, 2008
ExxonMobil Beginning Shut-ins & Evac
According to the Hurricane Preparedness page of ExxonMobil's web site:

With the safety of our workforce as our first priority, evacuation of nonessential personnel continues from those offshore facilities expected to be in the path of the storm. We are prepared to evacuate remaining personnel from offshore facilities safely in advance of the storm. Gross production of approximately 3 thousand barrels a day of oil and 50 million cubic feet a day of natural gas has been shut in.

Friday, August 29, 2008
Gustav Returns to Hurricane Force
According to the National Hurricane Center, data collected from an US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft now shows that Gustav has maximum sustained wind speeds near 75mph, making it officially a hurricane once again as of 3:15pm EDT.

Friday, August 29, 2008
Gustav Has Bigger Targets, But Industry Better Prepared
Since the 2005 hurricane season, the amount of infrastructure and the number of major deepwater facilities in the GOM has increased significantly. Whereas in 2005, only 2 deepwater platforms were producing 100,000 bopd, there are now 6 working at or striving for that level. At the same time, experience is the best teacher, and the industry learned some hard lessons in the wake of Katrina and Rita. So, many operators and drilling contractors are better prepared this year than in the past. read the full article here

Friday, August 29, 2008
Transocean Evacuating, Moving Rigs
Transocean has evacuated about 400 workers from its 11 rigs working in the GOM (7 semis, 4 DS) and plans to move 8 of the rigs out of the path of the storm, while 3 conventionally-moored semis will stay on location and be completely evacuated. The company also has one additional semi (the GSF Celtic Sea) in the Port of Pascagoula. read the full article here

Friday, August 29, 2008
Shell Continues Evacuations, Begins Shutting In
Shell evacuated over 350 workers from its offshore facilities yesterday, and plans to continue its full evacuation plan ahead of Gustav. As part of its evacuation, wells will be shut-in over the next two days. read the full article here

Friday, August 29, 2008
Gustav Path Uncertain, But Likely To Make Trouble
According to the Hurricane Center's Friday, 8am EDT update:

Gustav will move into the Gulf of Mexico Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane and could become a Category 4 hurricane later Sunday and Sunday night. Where Gustav moves beyond Sunday is still uncertain. A large high pressure area to the north guiding Gustav over the next few days will change shape and weaken on its western side, allowing Gustav to track more northwestward Sunday night and Monday. However, another very strong high pressure area building into the eastern United States will expand southward, and this could slow or even block the northward motion of Gustav later Monday into Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
The westward shift noted by Accuweather is likely to bring Gustav on a path towards the central to western Louisiana coastline. That course puts the storm right in the center of the oilpatch. Looking at the Map of Rigs by Type one can quickly see that a very large portion of the GOM jackup fleet lies directly in the potential path of Gustav. To drill down on the map and get more details on the rigs and infrastructure in Gustav's path, grab a free 6-month subscription to GOMExplorer and create your own fully-interactive and searchable maps of the Gulf of Mexico.

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Gustav Shifting West, Aiming for More O&G Infrastructure
According to the latest NOAA predictions, Gustav is likely to be shifting course towards the west. Yesterday, NOAA was predicting that Gustav would head north-northwest across the central GOM, passing straight through Mississippi Canyon on its way to making landfall in eastern Louisiana. As of this morning, NOAA predictions indicate that Gustav will be heading in a slightly more westerly direction bringing it down on the most densely concentrated areas of offshore infrastructure offshore central and western Louisiana. This shift more than quadruples the number of mobile offshore rigs in the storm's predicted path.

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Shell Evacuating 270 Workers Today, 600 More By Weekend
Shell announced that it is beginning to remove more workers from its platforms, and plans to completely evacuate all of its facilities by Saturday. Production levels should begin to be impacted as soon as today. read the full article here

Thursday, August 28, 2008
ConocoPhillips Shutting In Magnolia
ConocoPhillips announced that it is pulling 20 non-essential personnel off of the Magnolia platform today and that it expects to fully evacuate the remaining 58 workers by Saturday. read the full article here

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Platform & Rig Evacuations Get Underway Slowly
Based on information from the MMS released today at 11:30am CDT, only two offshore platforms and one mobile offshore drilling rig have been evacuated thus far in preparation for Gustav. No production has been reported as shut-in, yet. read the full article here

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Planalytics: Gustav Likely to Hit West LA or East TX
According to Jim Rouiller, a senior meteorologist with Planalytics, Gustav is likely to develop into a Category 3 or 4 Hurricane and make landfall along the upper Texas or Louisiana coastline. read the full article here

Thursday, August 28, 2008
IEA Prepared to Release Oil If Necessary
The IEA has announced that although it is still too early to foretell what the supply implications of Hurricane Gustav may be, they are prepared to release oil stocks into the market in the event that GOM oil & gas infrastructure is damaged and supplies are crimped. read the full article here

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Gustav Already Making Waves in Commodity Markets
NYMEX Crude oil prices gained $0.80 (0.68%) overnight Thursday in electronic trading while NYMEX natural gas prices also ticked up 0.69% ($0.06) to $8.67 per mmBTU. Price increases were apparently driven by concern over Gustav's impact on GOM oil facilities in the coming week. read the full article here

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Shell & Transocean Start Evacuations
Transocean and Shell announced that they have begun the process of evacuating non-essential personnel from their rigs and platforms. These evacutions are not affecting production levels as yet. read the Shell press release here   read the early article on Gustav evacuations here

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Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production dropped more than 50% in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Offshore Platform Stats
Top Operators Manned Platforms
Chevron196 platforms
Apache155 platforms
McMoRan44 platforms
Cal Dive40 platforms
W&T Offshore40 platforms
Top Operators Unmanned Platforms
Chevron413 platforms
Apache213 platforms
Energy Partners116 platforms
Bois d`Arc106 platforms
W&T Offshore106 platforms

Offshore Drilling Rig Stats
Offshore Drilling Rigs
Jackups79 rigs
Inland Barge73 rigs
Platform Rig58 rigs
Semisubs29 rigs
Submersibles7 rigs
Drillships6 rigs
Total252 rigs
Top Drilling Contractors
Hercules Offshore27 rigs
Diamond Offshore17 rigs
ENSCO14 rigs
Pride International13 rigs
Transocean Inc.12 rigs
Rowan9 rigs
Nabors9 rigs
Noble8 rigs
All Others12 rigs
Total121 rigs
includes JU, SS, DS, Sub rigs only