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US Gulf of Mexico operators slowly continue to restore oil, gas output from storm shut-ins


Still shut in: 301,077 b/d of oil, 420,000 Mcf/d of gas

A total of 51 platforms are still offline: BSEE

  • Author
  • Starr Spencer
  • Editor
  • Gary Gentile
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas Oil

Houston — US Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operators continue to restore oil and natural gas output, albeit slowly, from platforms temporarily brought offline prior to Hurricane Laura which slammed the Texas-Louisiana border a week ago, a federal offshore agency said Sept. 3.

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At midday Sept. 3, 301,077 b/d of oil production, or 16.3% of the region's total, was still shut in from the storm, as well as 420,000 Mcf/d or 15.5% of the area total, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said in its daily update.

That means slightly more than 67,000 b/d of oil and 112,000 Mcf/d of gas was restored in the 24 hours prior to the latest BSEE report.

Also, 51 platforms were still shut in Sept. 3, or 8% of the US Gulf's total, compared to 59 a day earlier.

BSEE said its data is based on 31 operators reporting Sept. 3.

If restoration efforts appear to be inching along rather slowly compared to the usual brisk pace of most industry efforts, it's likely due to the extensive number of platforms that were offline – 297 at peak, BSEE spokeswoman Karla Marshall said.

"It was a pretty big storm, and a lot of production was shut in, so it's a little bit slower than the previous few" hurricanes, Marshall said. "[Industry] only has so many inspectors, and so many helicopters" to perform the reviews and other work prior to normalizing Gulf production.

At peak, 1.559 million b/d of oil (84% of Gulf's total) and 1.6 Bcf/d of gas (61% of total US Gulf gas output) had been shut-in from Laura as the powerful Category 4 hurricane approached, and eventually hit, the far southwest Louisiana shore near the Texas border on Aug. 27.

Also Sept. 3, two tropical waves and a low-pressure area of disturbance were located off the West African coast on Thursday and these could develop further in the next five days, the US National Hurricane Center said Sept. 3.

The three events had potentials ranging from 20% to 70% of developing into cyclones in the next five days, NHC said.