Photo: Hurricane Sally; Source: NOAA

Hurricane Sally shuts in over a quarter of U.S. Gulf of Mexico production

Hurricane Sally has shut-in over a quarter of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Tuesday that it continues to monitor offshore oil and gas operations on platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of Hurricane Sally.

Hurricane Sally BSEE

The team works with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storms are no longer a threat to the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.

Based on data from offshore operator reports on Tuesday, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 149 production platforms, 23.17 per cent of the 643 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Furthermore, personnel have been evacuated from three non-dynamically positioned rigs, equivalent to 30 per cent of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

A total of two dynamically positioned rigs have moved off location out of the storm’s projected path as a precaution. This number represents 11.76 per cent of the 17 dynamically positioned rigs currently operating in the Gulf.

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 26.87 per cent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. As for gas, BSEE estimates that approximately 28.03 per cent of the natural gas production in the Gulf is still shut-in.

Although Sally’s intensity lessened, it remained a Category 1 hurricane with 140 kmh winds. Oil and chemical ports along the Mississippi River were moving to reopen with restrictions and some offshore operators were preparing to return workers to offshore platforms on Thursday.

The hurricane is currently moving at a snail’s pace, it will make landfall on the coast between Mississippi and Florida on Wednesday.

It is worth reminding that a mandatory evacuation has already been issued in Grand Isle, Louisiana, ahead of Sally. On Saturday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation order for Orleans Parish residents living outside of the parish’s levee protection system while Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

This is the second hurricane in less than a month after Hurricane Laura hit in late August. Laura, at its strongest point, shut-in 84.3 per cent of the current oil production and 60.94 per cent of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

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