Oil Workers Start Returning After Claudette Passes

Most of offshore workers that had to evacuate due to Hurricane Claudette have begun returning to rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Producers said they hope to resume full oil and gas output from Gulf facilities by the end of the week.

According to the MMS, Claudette forced producers to shut 418,164 bpd of oil and 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production. This equates to approximately 26 percent of daily oil and 14.2 percent of daily natural gas production being shut-in in the Gulf.

ChevronTexaco said it has 60,000 bpd of oil and 225 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of natural gas production shut in as of Wednesday afternoon, down from 120,000 bpd of oil and 425 mmcfd on Tuesday. ExxonMobil said it expects to have most of its shut-in production back on line later Wednesday. The company shut 250 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of natural gas and 43,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production in the Gulf.

Anadarko Petroleum has restored production at two shut-in properties in the Gulf and hopes to have production restored at 13 other properties by sometime Thursday. Anadarko halted about 10 percent of its Gulf output as Claudette moved through the Gulf. ConocoPhillips has restored all shut-in production.