Swift Starts Louisiana Production After Storm
Friday, September 05, 2008
Swift Energy Company announced the status of initial physical assessments of its coastal Louisiana properties, including the Lake Washington Field in Plaquemines Parish, Bay de Chene Field in Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes, and Horseshoe Bayou, Bayou Sale and Cote Blanche Island Fields, in St. Mary Parish. Based on visual inspection conducted by airplane fly-over on Wednesday, September 3, the Company reported that the facilities and infrastructure in all fields are still in place.
Subsequently, inspection crews have been mobilized to these fields to more closely inspect the individual facilities and infrastructure in each field. Based on these preliminary inspections of facilities located in Lake Washington, Horseshoe Bayou, Bayou Sale and Cote Blanche Island Fields, damage observed appears to be minimal, but these early observations are based only on brief physical inspections of the facilities. The Bay de Chene Field has experienced structural damage to its production facilities and some production equipment in the field has been damaged or destroyed. The extent of this damage and the cost and timing of repairs is not known at this time.
Production has been resumed in the South Bearhead Creek Field in Beauregard Parish, Brookeland Field in the Texas counties of Jasper and Newton, Masters Creek Field in the Louisiana parishes of Vernon and Rapides, Jeanerette Field in St. Mary Parish and High Island Field in Cameron Parish.
Swift Energy has separate engineering teams making further assessments of electrical systems, instrumentation, integrity of flow lines, substructure of platforms and navigation hazards in all of its South Louisiana fields. No assessment can be made at this time of total damage to facilities and infrastructure of these properties, or how long it will take to resume production, drilling or completion operations. The Company currently anticipates that it may take up to two weeks before it can make an accurate assessment of what production level will be possible in the third quarter and what adjustments to its full year production guidance estimates will be necessary.
Swift Energy is also investigating the availability of market outlets for its products once production is resumed. The crude oil pipeline Swift Energy accesses in Lake Washington may be able to take crude oil production by the time that Lake Washington production is restored, but this cannot be confirmed at present. Coastal shipping lanes have been reestablished and cleared for commercial activities, but barge transportation of crude oil may be limited until power outages at certain onshore terminals are rectified. Routes into and out of Lake Washington and Bay de Chene will be resurveyed to confirm safe passage. The natural gas pipelines that handle Swift Energy’s natural gas production in Lake Washington and Bay de Chene are not currently accepting delivery of flowing gas into their systems, pending further pipeline system assessments. Swift Energy will continue to monitor this dynamic situation and other factors beyond its control.
Swift Energy’s current plan of action is to reestablish production in all fields, which were shut in prior to Hurricane Gustav, and resume drilling and completion operations as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Five contracted drilling rigs will be returned to the Lake Washington area, as well as one completion rig, as soon as this is possible. One contracted drilling rig will return to the Bay de Chene Field. All drilling rigs were moved to safe harbor prior to the storm and all personnel evacuated. Employees of the drilling contractors are currently inspecting the rigs, and Swift Energy expects them to be moved to the various locations as soon as it is safe to do so. These activities are being pursued concurrently with due regard to increased safety and environmental concerns as a result of the known and unknown damages inflicted by Hurricane Gustav.