Photo: BP’s Atlantis in the Gulf of Mexico – one of the platforms evacuated ahead of the hurricane. Photo source: BP

Oil & gas production in Gulf of Mexico coming back online after hurricane

Oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are returning to their offshore facilities following Hurricane Zeta, which at its highest point closed up to 85 per cent of oil and 58 per cent of gas production from the Gulf.

This year’s storm season has been particularly active with eight named storms entering the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, most becoming major storms that required offshore facility evacuations or temporary shutdowns.

In the first update this week, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported on Monday that, based on data from offshore operator reports, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 28 production platforms, which is 4.35 per cent of the 643 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest update shows that no personnel are currently evacuated from any non-dynamically positioned rigs in the Gulf. 

A total of one dynamically positioned rig has moved off location out of the hurricane’s projected path as a precaution. This number represents 6.25 per cent of the 16 dynamically positioned rigs currently operating in the Gulf. 

Gulf of Mexico production coming back online

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 28.02 per cent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

Furthermore, BSEE estimates that approximately 15.92 per cent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

This is a significant change compared to the last week’s numbers when the Hurricane Zeta cut 4 million barrels over four days, halting up to 85 per cent of daily offshore Gulf of Mexico oil production and nearly 58 per cent of its natural gas output, according to an update from last Thursday.

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After the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back online immediately.

Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back online.