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Gulf of Mexico energy production continues to rise after Nate

Offshore oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico continues to ramp up after Hurricane Nate forced the evacuation of more than 300 platforms through Oct. 7.

In a report released Oct. 13, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated that a little more than 0.2 Bcf/d of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is still shut-in, down from a peak of 2.5 Bcf/d reported offline Oct. 8. The amount of production currently idled is equal to a little over 7% of the region's gas-producing capacity.

In addition, the BSEE estimates that slightly more than 220,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 12.6% of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, remains offline. The amount of oil production shut in for the storm peaked Oct. 8 at 1.62 million barrels per day.

Personnel remain evacuated from a total of 13 production platforms, down from a peak of more than 300 on Oct. 7. The current evacuations represent less than 2% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Gulf of Mexico federal offshore region accounts for about 5% of total U.S. dry gas production and about 17% of total U.S. crude oil production. The Gulf Coast also accounts for more than 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity and 51% of total U.S. natural gas processing plant capacity.

Hurricane Nate made landfall over Mississippi late Oct. 7 as a Category 1 hurricane, knocking offline more than 111,000 electric customers and two refineries across the Gulf Coast region by Oct. 8.