Hurricane Ike News and Projections

Ike: After the Storm

Friday, September 19, 2008
Production Levels Inching Back Up
From the latest MMS update as of Friday, Sept 19th at 11:30 am CDT :

  • Personnel remain evacuated from a total of 262 of 717 (36.5%) manned production platforms
  • Just 6 of 121 (5%) drilling rigs are still unmanned
  • Approximately 89.2% of the oil production in the Gulf is shut-in, down from 93% the day before
  • Approximately 75.4% of the natural gas production in the Gulf is shut-in, down from 77.6% the day before

For more details, read the full article here

Friday, September 19, 2008
Downstream Business Recovering After Ike
On DownstreamToday, you can find coverage on the downstream side of the oil & gas industry's recovery from Hurricans Gustav and Ike.

  • Refineries
    4 refineries shut down for Hurricane Ike are back at normal capacity, 3 more are operating at reduced rates, and 3 more are restarting, but 10 are still shut down.
  • Crude, Product & NGL Pipelines
    The LOOP and Capline pipelines have returned to normal levels in the wake of Gustav & Ike, but they are the only major Gulf Coast crude pipelines to do so. Refined product pipelines are faring better, with most running at reduced or normal levels.
  • Natural Gas Pipelines
    Most of the major natural gas pipelines in the Texas and Louisiana area are shut down or operating on only certain portions or reduced levels. Only 3 of 23 are back at normal capacity.
  • Natural Gas Processing Plants
    19 of 38 affected gas processing plants were back online and 10 more were prepared for processing once power and/or gas flow are restored.

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Platforms Destroyed Now Number 49
The MMS reported today that 49 of the 3,800 offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been destroyed by Hurricane Ike. This is up 75% from the previous estimate of 28 platforms destroyed by Ike.

The platforms that were destroyed were generally older platforms with relatively low production volumes. Of the 49 platforms lost, 44 produced less than 1,000 bopd and just 5 produced between 1,000 and 5,000 bopd. In total, the 49 destroyed platforms are estimated to have been producing 13,000 bopd and 84 mmcf/d of natural gas. That is just about 1% of the total GOM daily production before Gustav and Ike. For more details, read the full article here

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Platforms Most Exposed to Hurricane Ike
When Hurricane Ike passed through the GOM, its path took it over heart of the offshore oilpatch where its hurricane force winds and waves battered more than 1,600 production platforms. In fact, more than 40% of the platforms in the GOM were exposed to hurricane force winds when Hurricane Ike blew over them. The table below provides an overview of the operators with the most platforms in the path of Ike's hurricane force winds.

Operators' Platforms Exposed to Hurricane Force Winds
Operator Manned Unmanned Total
W&T Offshore326193
Stone Energy146983
Cal Dive285583
Forest Oil163551
El Paso142741
Hunt Petroleum61420

For the complete list of operators with platforms exposed to hurricane force winds during Hurricane Ike:

Download Excel Spreadsheet of Platform Operators (30kb Excel 2003 file)

For the complete list of platforms exposed to hurricane force winds during Hurricane Ike:

Download Excel Spreadsheet of Platforms (269kb Excel 2003 file)

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Most Platforms & Rigs Re-Crewed, Production Slowly Coming Back Online
From the latest MMS update as of Thursday, Sept 18th at 11:30 am CDT :

  • Personnel remain evacuated from a total of 326 of 717 (45.5%) manned production platforms
  • 19 of 121 (15.7%) drilling rigs are still unmanned
  • Approximately 93.0% of the oil production in the Gulf is shut-in
  • Approximately 77.6% of the natural gas production in the Gulf is shut-in

For more details, read the full article here

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Venice Gathering System Offline Until October
Venice Gathering System (VGS) reported that the Venice processing plant in Plaquemines, LA could be operational by the first week in October 2008. As a result, producers on the pipeline will not be allowed to flow gas until the processing plant is fully operational. VGS gathers gas from offshore Louisiana fields located in the West Delta, Grand Isle, South Pelto, and South Timbalier areas.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Offshore Rig Damage Caused by Hurricane Ike (Updated)
As companies evaluate their offshore assets and begin to report on their findings, it is quickly becoming apparent that Ike has dealt a harsh blow the Gulf of Mexico rig fleet. Thus far, 3 jackups and 1 platform rig have apparently been lost. In addition, another jackup has lost if drilling package and derrick, and two others suffered damages while in the shipyard. Four moored semisubmersibles sustained damage to their mooring systems and submersible rig was pushed off of its prestorm location.

Rig Name Manager Rig Type Built Cost Damage Assessment
ENSCO 74 ENSCO 375' ILC jackup 1999 $84 million Rig missing - probable total loss
Pride Wyoming Pride 250' MS jackup 1976 $26 million Rig missing - probable total loss
Rowan Anchorage Rowan 250' ILS jackup 1972 $9 million Rig missing - probable total loss
Ocean Tower Diamond 350' ILC jackup 1972 $10 million Lost drilling package, including derrick
Mad Dog Pride / BP Platform Rig 2004 n/a Derrick collapsed & sunk
Transocean Marianas Transocean 7,000' Semisub 1998 $224 million Mooring system damaged, rig moved
Noble Amos Runner Noble 8,000' Semisub 1999 $152 million Broke moorings & set adrift
Noble Paul Romano Noble 6,000' Semisub 1998 $118 million Broke moorings & set adrift
Noble Lorris Bouzigard Noble 4,000' Semisub 1975 $31 million Mooring system damaged, maintained station
Hercules 78 Hercules 85' Submersible 1983 $34 million Moved 600' during storm
Rowan Mississippi Rowan 400' ILC jackup 2008 $165 million Struck by vessel in shipyard, not expected to delay delivery
Blake 208 Blake Offshore 250' MC jackup 1977 n/a damaged in shipyard, may delay avail.

For an overview of the locations of rigs affected by Hurricane Ike, take a look at our Offshore Damage Map.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Blake Offshore Reports Little Damage From Ike
Blake Offshore's two jackups in the path of Hurricane Ike, Blake 202 and Blake 303, have made it through the storm with little damage and are preparing to get back to work. The Blake 151, which was outside the hurricane force wind swath of Hurricane Ike is also getting back to work this week. The company's only rig that sustained any notable damage was the Blake 208, a MOPU that is in Sabine Pass being converted to a drilling unit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
28 Platform Destroyed by Ike
According to a new release from the MMS, 28 out of 3,800 production platforms in the GOM have been destroyed, and an undetermined number of platforms have been severely damaged. In addition, early reports indicate some pipeline damage, although the extent of those damages is as yet unknown.

"To date, most of the destroyed platforms include older facilities with small levels of production," said Lars Herbst, regional director, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region. "We expect additional reports of damage as the weather allows more flights and operators are able to board the platforms and begin inspections."

In terms of the 28 platforms destroyed, 24 of them produced less than 1,000 barrels of oil per day. The other four produced between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels of oil per day. In total, it is estimated that the lost platforms accounted for just 11,000 bopd (0.8% of total GOM oil production) and 82 mmcf/d of natural gas (1.1% of total GOM natural gas production). read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Atwood, H&P, and Parker Report No Major Damage
Atwood reported that its only GOM rig, the Richmond submersible, weathered Hurricane Ike without damage. read the full article here

Helmerich & Payne, says that early field reports indicate that Hurricane Ike has apparently not resulted in material damage to any of its drilling rigs or facilities. read the full article here

Parker Drilling Company reported today that all its barge rigs operating in the GOM are accounted for, and no structural damage has been observed during the initial surveys. Prior to the storm, all rigs in the probable path of Ike had been moved. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Crews Returning, But Production Still Mostly Shut-in
From the latest MMS update as of Tuesday, Sept 16th at 11:30 am CDT :

  • Personnel remain evacuated from a total of 498 of 717 (69.5%) manned production platforms
  • 71 of 121 (58.7%) drilling rigs are still unmanned
  • Approximately 97.2% of the oil production in the Gulf is shut-in
  • Approximately 84.2 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf is shut-in

For more details, read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Rowan Anchorage May Be Lost
Rowan Anchorage After aerial inspections, Rowan has reported that the Rowan Anchorage, a LeTourneau 52-class slot jackup rig, is not at its pre-storm location on Vermillion block 201. The Company is undertaking efforts to locate the rig but believes it may have capsized and sunk.

The company's other rigs working in the GOM appear to have survived the storm with minimal damage and crews are returning to the rigs. However, the company's Sabine Pass facility experienced a heavy storm surge, and the newbuild jackup Rowan Mississippi was slightly damaged in an apparent collision with another vessel. The company does not expect the damage to delay delivery of the rig. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Pride Wyoming Expected to be Total Loss
Pride Wyoming Pride International reports that the Pride Wyoming, a 250-foot mat slot jackup rig operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is missing and expected to be a total loss following Hurricane Ike. The rig's last location was at Ship Shoal 283, approximately 90 miles south of Houma, Louisiana. All rig personnel had been safely evacuated prior to the arrival of the storm.

The company's other rigs appear to have weathered the storm and efforts are underway to re-man the rigs. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
BP's Mad Dog Lost Derrick
BP announced this morning that the only significant damage that its offshore facilities seem to have suffered is the loss of the drilling derrick from atop the Mad Dog platform, which is located in 4,500 feet of water on Green Canyon 782. The derrick is part of the drilling equipment that is managed by Pride International on behalf of BP. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
All Hercules Rigs Accounted For, Hercules 78 Moved
The Hercules 78, an 85-foot Donhaiser Marine submersible drilling rig, has moved approximately 600 feet from its pre-storm position. An assessment crew is onboard and a diving vessel will be conducting an underwater survey of the rig. Otherwise, the rest of Hercules' rigs have escaped Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed and are in the process of being remanned. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
ATP Reports Minimal Damage
ATP reported today that its facilties, most specifically the ATP Innovator at the "Gomez" field on Mississippi Canyon 711, suffered only minor damage from Hurricane Ike. The company has restarted production via the Canyon Express and expects more production to restart as soon as facilities are ready. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Marathon's Lobster Platform Has Lower Deck Damage
The Lobster platform is located on Ewing Bank 873 (EB873) where is serves as a hub for production from EB 917 and EB 963. read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Three Noble Semisubs Experience Mooring Damage
Noble Corporation reports that in the wake of Hurricane Ike the Company has concluded an aerial survey and preliminary on board evaluations of most of its active U.S. Gulf of Mexico units. The Noble Paul Romano and Noble Amos Runner experienced mooring failures and drifted from their original respective locations, but have been boarded and power has been restored. In addition, the Noble Lorris Bouzigard has experienced damage to its mooring system but has remained in the area of its primary location. read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Almost All Oil & Gas Production Shut-In
From the latest MMS update as of Monday, Sept 15th at 11:30 am CDT :

  • Personnel remain evacuated from a total of 562 of 717 (78.4%) manned production platforms
  • 82 of 121 (67.8%) drilling rigs are still unmanned
  • Approximately 99.9% of the oil production in the Gulf is shut-in
  • Approximately 93.8 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf is shut-in

For more details, read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Production Restored at Independence Hub in EGOM
Anadarko has restarted production at the Independence Hub, and the company says that it is prepared to restart production at Neptune when downstream pipelines permit. Crews have also returned to the Marco Polo and Constitution facilities where Hurricane Ike inflicted only minor surface damage. read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Update on Semisubs Set Adrift
The MMS and USCG reported on Saturday that two rigs were adrift in the GOM. When Ike passed through, there were 10 moored semisubmerisbles in the path of the storm that experienced hurricane force winds. Six of the rigs belong to Diamond, three to Noble, and one to Transocean. Transocean quickly identified one of the drifting rigs as their Transocean Marianas, which had sustained minor damage from Hurricane Gustav. This morning, Diamond Offshore has stated that all of its GOM rigs maintained station through the storm. Noble has yet to provide any official updates about their rig fleet.

Monday, September 15, 2008
ENSCO Unable to Locate ENSCO 74 Jackup
ENSCO 74 The ENSCO 74, a MLT Super 116-C that had been located in approximately 230 feet of water 92 miles from shore in South Marsh Island Block 149, appears to have gone missing. Aerial reconnaissance and a boat dispatched to the location failed to locate the rig.

ENSCO had 5 jackups that bore hurricane force winds during Hurricane Ike: the ENSCO 83, ENSCO 89, ENSCO 98, ENSCO 68 and ENSCO 74. The ENSCO 74 was the rig located furthest from shore and closest to the path of Hurricane Ike, and it therefore was subjected to stronger and more damaging winds that the other 4 ENSCO jackups that escaped the storm.

ENSCO 74 location

According to the ENSCO release, crews have been dispatched, and the company's eight jackups that were not in the path of Hurricane Ike have been re-crewed. In addition, the ENSCO 7500 has returned to its pre-storm location, which it had left ahead of Ike, and is preparing to resume drilling. read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Diamond's Ocean Tower Jackup Loses Drilling Equipment
The Ocean Tower, a 350' ILC jackup, which is located quite close to the path of Hurricane Ike's eye, apparently lost its entire drilling package, including derrick, based on flyover inspections.

Ocean Tower location

Otherwise, the Diamond fleet of rigs in the GOM appears to have weathered Hurricane Ike fairly well. Tracking devices indicate that all of the company's rigs maintained station, including the six moored semisubs that were directly in the storm's path. read the full article here

Monday, September 15, 2008
Oil Prices Drop More Than 5% This Morning
According to a Bloomberg report on the Houston Chronicle web site, NYMEX light crude futures dropped $5.67 to $95.64 in pre-market trading this morning. As reports of damage from Hurricane Ike have begun to trickle in, traders' fears of major supply disruptions have been alleviated. Combined with concerns over the faltering Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch, speculator sentiment has definitely turned down in the commodity market.

Sunday, September 14, 2008
MMS Says About 10 Platforms Damaged
Hurricane Ike appears to have damaged about 10 oil platforms, according to Eileen Angelico of the MMS. Officials were able only to make a rough estimate of the number of damaged platforms based on "flyovers" of the area, which has about 3,800 oil platforms. read the full article here

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Several of Chevron's Platforms Damaged
Chevron Corp. (CVX) said Sunday that Aerial reconnaissance flights over Chevron's Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production facilities in the western area indicate several platforms have been affected by Hurricane Ike. Damage assessments are underway with the goal of bringing production back online as quickly and safely as possible, a spokesman said. read the full article here

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Anadarko Returns Some Staff to GOM Platforms
Anadarko Petroleum says that it started returning personnel to some of its eastern Gulf of Mexico facilities that had been evacuated as a precaution ahead of Hurricane Ike. In a statement the company said it had begun initial assessments and inspections of its operated facilities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and crews have returned to the Independence Hub and Neptune facilties.  read the full article here

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Shell Redeploying Staff in EGOM, Doing Fly-overs
On Saturday, Shell redeployed approximately 50 people to a few assets not in the immediate path of Ike.  The company planned to redeploy approximately 170 people on Sunday.  Redeployments to Shell-operated assets will continue next week until they reach pre-storm staffing levels of about 1,400 people. At the same time, Shell is conducting fixed-wing flyovers of facilities in Ike's path to being damage assesments. read the full article here

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Marathon Lobster Platform (EB 873) Appears Sound
On Saturday, Sept. 13, Marathon conducted an initial assessment of its Ewing Bank platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The platform appears to be structurally sound, pending a more complete assessment. A team is returning today to gather additional information; but the employees will not be manning the platform overnight. Production remains shut-in. read the full article here

Saturday, September 13, 2008
Transocean Marianas One of Two Rigs Drifting
Transocean Marianas A satellite-tracking system used to monitor offshore drilling rigs' locations indicates that Hurricane Ike moved the moored semisubmersible rig Transocean Marianas approximately 2 miles to the north of its location before the storm, where it appears to have stopped significant movement at this time. Personnel were flown over the rig today to confirm the satellite-tracking report and to visually inspect the rig for any damage from the air. read the full article here

Saturday, September 13, 2008
Two Drilling Rigs Adrift in GOM
Not many details are available yet, but the MMS and US Coast Guard have reported that two drilling rigs are adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. These rigs have to have been among the nine moored semisubmersibles that were hit with hurricane force winds by Hurricane Ike. read the full article here

The map below from GOMExplorer shows the conventionally moored semisubs that were in the direct path of Ike:

moored semisubs

As we learn more information about exactly which rigs were forced off location and what damages they have suffered, we'll keep you updated.

Saturday, September 13, 2008
Ike Visits Houston
After a week's worth of anticipation and concern, Hurricane Ike finally made landfall in Galveston, TX this morning around 2am CDT. The center of the storm in passing north-northwest across the east side of Houston, up Galveston Bay and to the Houston Ship Channel. The storm was still a category 2 hurricane with 95 knot winds at 4am as it passed east of Houston. The map below shows the current position and areas being affected by hurricane force (in orange-red) and tropical storm force (in dark yellow) winds as of 4am CDT.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Force Winds at 4am CDT, Sept 13
current winds - Sept 13 4am

The east side of Houston, through which the eye of Hurricane Ike was passing this morning, is the United States' second busiest port and home to some of the nation's largest refineries including:

Owner Location Capacity
ExxonMobil Baytown 562,500 bpd
BP Texas City 417,000 bpd
Shell Deer Park 333,700 bpd
LyondellBasell Houston 247,000 bpd
Valero Texas City 218,500 bpd
Astra/Petrobras Pasadena 100,000 bpd
Valero Houston 83,000 bpd
Marathon Texas City 76,000 bpd
Total:   2,037,700 bpd

All of the refineries listed above essentially took a direct hit from Hurricane Ike this morning, and at least some damage is quite probable. The extent of the problems caused by the 90+ knot winds and the expected 15 to 25 foot storm surge will not be known for several days. But it is certain that these refineries will not be running at full capacity for several days at best and possibly several weeks.

A major concern with bringing these refineries back online is the power infrastructure for these facilities, which is almost certainly in ruins. Hurricane Gustav, with a much smaller area of hurricane force winds, damaged 40% of the power transmission lines in rural southern Louisiana. Given that Ike struck one of the world's largest and busiest industrial areas with a 200 mile wide swath of 64+ knot winds, the damage to the extensive power infrastructure will likely take weeks to repair.

For a more complete list of refineries shut down because of Hurricane Ike, visit

Friday, September 12, 2008
Where is He Now?
The map below shows the current position and areas being affected by hurricane force (in orange-red) and tropical storm force (in dark yellow) winds. As is clear, Ike's eye is passing out of the deepwater areas of the GOM (particularly Garden Banks where it passed directly through) and into the more densely populated High Island South area. At the same time, a huge swath of offshore territory is and will shortly be passing under Ike's hurricane force winds as the storm's most dangerous northeastern reaches pass across the South Marsh Island, Vermillion, East Cameron and West Cameron areas.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Force Winds at 4pm CDT, Sept 12
current winds - Sept 12 4pm

Worth noting is that Ike's area of hurricane force winds has narrowed slightly to about 185 miles, down by about 15 miles from its previous extent.

Friday, September 12, 2008
Ike's on the Wide Side
To put Ike in its place in terms of size, the storm currently has an area of approximately 200 miles wide that is experiencing hurricane force winds. When Hurricane Gustav passed through the GOM two weeks ago, its hurricane force winds only covered an area about 120 miles wide at its widest, just 60% of Ike's current width.

Compared to 2005's Hurricane Katrina, Ike's hurricane force wind area is only about 10% smaller than Katrina's 220 mile width. And Ike's 200-mile wide hurricane force wind area is about 25% larger than Hurricane Rita's 160 mile width.

Friday, September 12, 2008
Hurricane Ike Recent Wind Area
Hurricane Ike is still classified as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 knots as it travels across the offshore oilpatch on its way towards the Texas coast. Over the early hours of the morning, the storm passed very close to the Magnolia TLP and the Red Hawk SPAR. It has also passed close to Shell's Auger semisubmersible production platform (see image below). Between the hours of 6:30am and 7:30am Auger registered Category 3 wind speeds in the range of 99 to 108 knots.

current winds - Sept 12 10am

In the map above, the orange crosshatching represents the area experiencing hurricane force winds as of 10am cdt. Included within that range are many floating production systems besides the ones already mentioned:

  • Anadarko's Gunnison SPAR
  • Anadarko's Constitution SPAR
  • ConocoPhillips' Jolliet TLP

In addition to the floating production platforms listed above, the following deepwater fixed platforms are also within the range of Ike's hurricane force winds.

  • ATP's GB189 Platform
  • Chevron's GB236 Platform
  • Hess's Baldpate CT
  • Offshore Group's EC373 Platform
  • Petrobras' Cottonwood Platform
  • Shell's Enchilada Platform
  • Shell's Salsa Platform
  • Shell's Bullwinkle Platform

As Hurricane Ike continues to move towards shore, it will be exposing more and more fixed platforms to hurricane force winds over the next 24 hours. Given that Ike is moving west-northwest at about 10 knots and that the hurricane force winds extend outwards from the center of the storm 120 miles, these locations will be experiencing strong winds and waves for 10 to 15 hours.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Floating Production Facilities Experiencing High Winds
According to data from NOAA's National Data Buoy Center, Shell's Auger platform in Garden Banks 426 reported experiencing 60.2kt winds at 9:45pm CDT. Located at 27.55N 92.49W, the Auger platform was approximately 166 miles west northwest of the eye of Hurricane Ike when the measurement was taken. The floating semisubmersible platform is almost directly in the path of Hurricane Ike, and the eye of the storm is predicted to pass within about 12 miles of the platform before noon on Friday, Sept 12th.

Auger is projected to be the third floating production platform by which Hurricane Ike will be passing on Friday morning. Before reaching Auger between 10am and noon, Ike's eye will first be passing within about 7 miles of Anadarko's Red Hawk SPAR around 7am Friday morning. Shortly thereafter, by around 8am, Ike's eye should pass within about 1 mile of ConocoPhillips' Magnolia TLP. Given the strong winds and 20 to 30 foot waves that will batter these platforms for about 20 hours, the potential for damage is fairly significant.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Rigs & Facilities in Ike's Path
For an informative overview of hurricane preparation efforts on the part of rig owners and production operators with equipment in the path of Hurricane Ike, check out this article by Rigzone's Phaedra Friend. You'll find a complete list of rigs and deepwater facilties in the projected path of the storm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Ike Generating Nearly 30ft Waves 90 miles from Eye
According to data gathered at 10:50am CDT by the NOAA's Mid Gulf buoy (located in Lund South block 48 at 25.9N 89.67W), Hurricane Ike was generating waves of 27.9 feet in height at that location. At that time, the center of Hurricane Ike was located at approximately 25.5N 88.4W, which is about 90 miles from the location of the buoy. The buoy reported wind speeds of 44.7 knots, nearly 20 knots below hurricane force speed.

As Ike continues to grow, wave heights will likely increase, and wave heights will also be greater in areas experiencing hurricane force winds. As such, the production platforms and floating rigs in the path of Ike will likely experience similar or larger waves as Ike passes over them tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Ike - Big, Slow & Dangerous
Unlike Hurricane Gustav, which sped through the Gulf of Mexico at nearly 18 miles per hour, Hurricane Ike is moving much more slowly. According to the Hurricane Center, "Ike is traveling west-northwestward at 10 mph [8.7 kt] with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph [87 kt]."

In addition to moving slowly, Ike is a very large storm:

Ike is a very large Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend 115 miles outward from Ike's center. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 255 miles. ...

The circulation of Ike is so large that it is already causing water levels to rise 1-3 feet across the entire Gulf Coast from South Florida to Texas. Parts of southern Louisiana will have a 3- to 5-foot water rise with tropical-storm conditions Thursday. From 2-4 inches of rain is expected along the immediate coastline of Louisiana today, along with isolated weak tornadoes right along the coast.

Beyond Ike's huge expanse and slow forward movement, Ike is also now likely to take a more dangerous course, both in terms of offshore and onshore assets that will be in its path:

The recent slower speed of Ike means there is a better chance for it to take a track farther north, bringing the center closer to Galveston. The best estimate right now is for landfall somewhere between Matagorda Bay and Galveston, Texas. Nonetheless, a devastating storm surge is expected for more than 100 miles east of landfall.

With the National Hurricane Center predicting that Ike will be on the verge of being a Category 4 Hurricane when it makes landfall, Ike is poised to be a much greater threat to life and property than Gustav turned out to be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Deadly Ike Eyes Texas After Tearing Through Cuba
Hurricane Ike is blamed for more than 100 deaths in Cuba, and as it grows in strength and heads for the Texas coast, the federal government has declared a state of emergency to free funds and help with evacuation efforts. Yet some people are still hesitant to leave. read the full article here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Nearly 96% of Oil Production Shut-In
According to today's release from the MMS, as of this morning at 11:30am CDT:

  • 452 of 717 (63%) manned production platforms have been evacuated
  • 81 of 121 (67%) offshore drilling rigs have been evacuated
  • 95.9% of the estimated 1.3 million barrels of oil per day is shut-in
  • 73.1% of the 7.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day is also shut-in

For more details, read the full article here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Hurricane Ike Threatens Facilities in the Central GOM
For a detailed look at what Hurricane Ike is doing and how companies working in the Gulf of Mexico oilpatch are reacting, read this article from Rigzone's Phaedra Friend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ike Has Gone to the GOM
After passing over western Cuba during the night, Hurricane Ike is now a category 1 hurricane in the south eastern Gulf of Mexico. Ike is still predicted to begin building strength over the warm waters of the GOM and continue its predicted path towards the south Texas coast.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
U.S. Oil Industry Braces for Another Hurricane Hit
This article provides a brief overview of how oil output from the GOM, home to a quarter of U.S. crude production, was already at a trickle as Hurricane Ike advances toward Texas, just over a week after Hurricane Gustav spun through the same area toward Louisiana. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
More Details on Ike's Projected Path
Ike is definitely poised to continue its course towards the Texas coast over the next several days. According to the Hurricane Center:

Ike is still being steered by a strong upper level and surface high pressure area that extends across the northern Gulf of Mexico and the deep South of the United States. This ridge should remain in place through Friday. So, a west to west northwest course should continue into Friday. Ike is moving over western Cuba and will move back over water in the southeast Gulf of Mexico later this afternoon and this evening.

In terms of Ike's potential for intensification, the experts at Accuweather had this to say:

Once over the southeast Gulf of Mexico Ike will have favorable conditions to support intensification. These will include ocean water temperatures of 82 degrees with significant deep warm water, little or no upper level shear and minimal dry air intruding into the hurricane's circulation... We believe given the favorable conditions Ike should strengthen to a category 3 or major hurricane later Thursday or Thursday night. We believe Ike will remain a major hurricane when making landfall along the Texas coast late Friday night or Saturday morning. There is some chance for Ike to become a category 4 hurricane. However, most hurricanes rarely regain their original maximum strength after interacting with land.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Evacuations and Shut-Ins Continue
According to today's update from the MMS, personnel have been evacuated from just 167 (23%) of the 717 manned platforms in the GOM, down from yesterday's report of 200 platforms having been evacuated. Of the 121 drilling rigs working in the GOM, 44 have already been evacuated. And in terms of production shut-ins, 78% of oil production and 65% of natural gas production have been shut-in. read the full article here

For more information and commentary on the production shut-ins and evacuations, you can read Hurricane Ike Keeps GOM Oil Output at Trickle.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Deadly Ike Slams Cuba, Eyes Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane-force winds hit Havana early Tuesday as Ike pummeled Cuba with lashing rains and towering waves that have already killed four people. The hurricane could get even stronger when it reaches the warm waters of the GOM by Wednesday. read the full article here

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Ike Likely to Point West
Hurricane Ike is currently a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 80mph as it pushes west-nothwest along the southern coast of Cuba. It will likely move across western Cuba this afternoon and into the Gulf of Mexico by this evening. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center predict that Ike will quickly begin to strengthen again as it moves out into the Gulf. Their predictions point to Ike becoming a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall in south Texas on Friday or Saturday.

This more westerly course, if Ike continues as predicted, will keep Ike generally south of the more densely packed areas of the offshore oilpatch. However, this path would take Ike across some of the major deepwater installations including Anadarko's Red Hawk, Gunnison, Nansen, and Boomvang SPARs, ConocoPhillips' Magnolia TLP, ExxonMobil's Hoover installation, and Shell's Perdido Hub which just arrived on location about 3 weeks ago.

Monday, September 8, 2008
Ike Setting Course for the GOM
As late as last Friday morning, meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center were predicting that Hurricane Ike would turn to the north and travel up the Atlantic coast of Florida. But Ike has stuck to a westerly course that carried it across eastern Cuba this weekend. Forecasters are now predicting that the storm will follow a path similar to that followed by Hurricane Gustav just over a week ago, passing north across western Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday morning.

For more about Ike's course and its predicted path from last Friday, check here.

Current predictions have Ike veering more to the west than Hurricane Gustav, thus sparing the central and eastern Louisiana coast another beating, but sending the storm across an even more densely populated stretch of the offshore oilpatch. In fact, Ike's current path is predicted to be quite similar to that followed by Hurricane Rita during 2005, which caused a great deal of damage to both offshore rigs and platforms.

Whether Hurricane Ike will continue on the same path, move as slowly or have winds as strong as Hurricane Rita certainly remains to be seen. Regardless, it looks as if the Gulf of Mexico offshore rig fleet and infrastructure is in for another test of the improvements made over the last three years.

Monday, September 8, 2008
Hercules Getting Back to Work, Keeping Eye on Ike
Hercules Offshore reported that the majority of its offshore rigs had weathered Gustav and returned to work by today. Only three of its rigs are on standby and one has been evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ike. The company's supply boats and tugs are preparing to return to work as well, but Hurricane Ike will likely cause changes in their plans as Hercules is preparing to evacuate personnel as Ike moves into the GOM. read the full article here

Monday, September 8, 2008
Transocean Evacuating Moored Semisubs in GOM
Transocean announced today that its three moored semisubs located in the Gulf of Mexico had sustained some minor damage during Hurricane Gustav. One of the three rigs, the Transocean Amirante, is being moved to Mobile to wait out the storm and prepare for repairs. The other two rigs, the Deepwater Nautilus and the Transocean Marianas, will stay on location, but are already being evacuated ahead of Ike. read the full article here

Monday, September 8, 2008
Shell to Clear Personnel by Wednesday
Shell has announced that it evacuated about 150 personnel from its platforms on Sunday, while another 500 remain working there until Wednesday when the company plans to complete evacuations and shut-in the little production it had brought back online in the wake of Gustav. read the full article here

Monday, September 8, 2008
ConocoPhillips Again Evacuating Magnolia
In its press release this morning, ConocoPhilips stated: "In order to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors, ConocoPhillips began evacuating non-essential personnel from the Magnolia platform. The Company's current plans are to fully evacuate by Wednesday if the hurricane remains on the current projected path. The Magnolia field remains shut in for ongoing scheduled maintenance." read the full article here

Monday, September 8, 2008
ExxonMobil Monitoring Ike
According to a press release today: "ExxonMobil is closely monitoring Hurricane Ike and has begun preparations for heavy weather along its Gulf Coast operations. ExxonMobil is determining which of its facilities may potentially be in the path of the storm, preparing those structures for heavy wind and rain, and identifying personnel for possible evacuation to shore." read the full article here

Monday, September 8, 2008
GOM Production to Stay Shut-In
According to a release from the MMS this morning, 200 platforms, representing about 30% of the 717 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, had been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Ike. Along with that, nearly 80% of GOM oil production and 64% of natural gas production have remained shut-in, not having been restarted in the 6 days since Hurricane Gustav passed. read the full article here

Rig Damage
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Maps updated Sep 13, 6:00pm cdt

Help provide Hurridane Ike Disaster Reilef.
You can help the victims of disasters like the Hurricanes Ike, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This Fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disasters.

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
Stone Energy48 platforms
McMoRan44 platforms
Cal Dive40 platforms
Top Operators Unmanned Platforms
Chevron413 platforms
Apache213 platforms
Stone Energy185 platforms
Energy Partners116 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