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Almost 10% of Gulf of Mexico oil, gas production idled ahead of tropical storm

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said 9.23% of oil production and 9.06% of natural gas output in the Gulf of Mexico was shut-in as of Sept. 4 in preparation for Tropical Storm Gordon. This amounts to 156,907 barrels of oil per day and 232 million cubic feet per day.

Workers have been evacuated from a total of 54 production platforms, or 7.86% of the 687 manned platforms in the Gulf, based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CT on Sept. 4.

Personnel have been removed from one non-dynamically positioned rig, or 5% of the 20 rigs of this type in operation in the region, the bureau said. One dynamically positioned rig was moved off location due to the storm.

With an eye on the storm, Exxon Mobil Corp. has evacuated offshore personnel and is performing a controlled shut-down of its Mobile Bay facilities, company spokeswoman Julie King said Sept. 4. Exxon also evacuated its Lena platform, with minimal impact to production, she added.

Meanwhile, production at two of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s Gulf of Mexico platforms remain shut in, the company said in a Sept. 4 update. Anadarko indicated Sept. 3 that it removed personnel from its Horn Mountain and Marlin facilities ahead of the storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center as of 1 p.m. CT, Tropical Storm Gordon was about 130 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Ala., and 145 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss., with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour. Gordon is moving toward the northwest at about 15 mph, with this general motion expected to continue until it makes landfall this evening along the north-central Gulf Coast.

A northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected after landfall, with a gradual turn toward the north-northwest and north forecast. On the forecast track, Gordon is expected to move across the northern Gulf of Mexico, possibly as a hurricane, by late Sept. 4 and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley by early Sept. 5, avoiding most major production areas and Gulf Coast refineries.