Gulf of Mexico oil firms evacuate workers ahead of storm

U.S. Gulf of Mexico operators are evacuating offshore workers from rig and platforms in response to tropical weather activity.

Illustration: BP’s Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico – Image source: BP/Flickr

As of the latest update by the BSEE on Wednesday, personnel has been evacuated from a total of 15 production platforms, 2.24 percent of the 669 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, offshore workers have been evacuated from 4 rigs (non-dynamically positioned “DP” rigs), equivalent to 19.05 percent of the 21 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf. Three DP rigs have moved off location out of the storm’s path as a precaution.

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 31.89 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 602,715 barrels of oil per day.

It is also estimated that approximately 17.85 percent of the natural gas production or 496.2 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

Oil companies Anadarko, Shell, BP, and Byron Energy have all evacuated or are in the process of evacuating personnel in the wake of the storm.

Shell on Wednesday said: “Shell continues to monitor and respond to Disturbance #12 in the Gulf of Mexico. We have evacuated non-essential personnel from 7 of our potentially affected assets while continuing safe operations. All rig operations have also been secured.

In a previous update, Shell said it was evacuating non-essential personnel from its eastern assets in the Gulf of Mexico, without providing details on which assets exactly were affected.

“At this time, there have been minimal impacts to production as a result of this weather disturbance and we will continue to monitor weather reports, taking further action if necessary,” Shell said on Wednesday.

“Platforms that are being shut in include Constitution, Heidelberg, Holstein, and Marco Polo,” Anadarko said.

BP said: “With current forecasts indicating that a tropical depression or tropical storm will form over the northern Gulf of Mexico later this week, BP has begun removing offshore personnel and shutting-in production at BP-operated facilities across the Gulf.

According to Reuters, the affected BP facilities are Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Na Kika platforms which produce more than 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Anadarko said it was carefully monitoring the weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

“To ensure the safety of our people and protection of the environment, we are removing all non-essential personnel from our operated eastern GOM facilities, and removing all personnel and shutting in production at our operated central GOM facilities,” Anadarko said.

“Platforms that are being shut in include Constitution, Heidelberg, Holstein, and Marco Polo. These platforms will remain shut in until the weather has cleared and it is safe to return staff,” Anadarko said.

Another Gulf of Mexico operator Byron Energy said on Friday it would due to impending weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico brought on by Tropical Storm Barry, evacuate or has already evacuated personnel from its SM71F platform. Production there was shut it too.

Also, Byron said Thursday that the White Fleet Drilling 350 jack-up rig currently conducting operations on SM74 D14 well would be evacuated as of noon US Central Daylight time 11 July 2019. Plugging and abandonment operations were ongoing at the time of the evacuation.

“It is currently anticipated that all operations will be shut in and evacuated until Sunday 14 July or Monday 15 July depending on the passage of the storm system,” Byron said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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