Oil workers coming back to Gulf of Mexico after storm Barry, but 60 platforms still evacuated

A total of 60 offshore production platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remained evacuated on Thursday following the tropical storm Barry, which had hit the Gulf late last week. Over 18 percent of oil production remains shut-in as a result of the storm. 

Shell’s Enchilada platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Source: Danos

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team is continuing to monitor offshore oil and gas operators as they re-board platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico following the landfall of tropical storm Barry.

The bureau informed on Thursday that, based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT that day, personnel remained evacuated from a total of 60 production platforms, 8.97 percent of the 669 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. For comparison, on Wednesday, July 17 personnel had been evacuated from 113 production platforms or 16.89 percent.

The bureau added that personnel remained evacuated from one rig, which is equivalent to 4.76 percent of the 21 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.

None of the 20 DP rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico are off location. They have all returned to pre-storm positioning.

In its latest update, published last Wednesday, Shell said it continued to ramp up to pre-storm production levels of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico after the disruption caused by Tropical Storm Barry. The Ursa and Olympus assets have resumed production, while the Mars, Enchilada, Salsa and Stone assets are in varying stages of returning to normal operations and production levels.

Shell added that approximately 80% of the average daily production of oil and gas flowing across its operated assets in the Gulf of Mexico continued.

“Full production from the assets will resume when it is safe to do so,” Shell concluded.

Also on Wednesday, BP said it was taking steps to safely resume production at its assets in the Gulf of Mexico and returning to safe, reliable and compliant operations. However, the company added that no further updates would be available.


Over 18 pct of oil output still shut-in


From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 18.78 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut-in, which equates to 354,985 barrels of oil per day.

It is also estimated that approximately 18.68 percent of the natural gas production, or 519.3 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut-in.

According to the BSEE, there were multiple reports submitted of damage to heliport skirting, hand rails, and grating.

Now that the storm has passed, the BSEE said that facilities will continue to 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.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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