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Gulf of Mexico natural gas production above 50% capacity after Nate

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Gulf of Mexico natural gas production above 50% capacity after Nate

Offshore oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico are repopulating their platforms and ramping supply following Hurricane Nate.

In a report released Oct. 10, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, or BSEE, estimated that almost 1.5 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 now idled is equal to about 46% of the region's gas-producing capacity.

In addition, the BSEE estimates that slightly more than 1.02 million barrels of oil per day, or more than 58.5% 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 66 production platforms, down from a peak of more than 300 on Oct. 7. The current evacuations represent more than 9% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, one non-dynamically positioned rig, equivalent to 5% of the region's total, is still evacuated.

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 the U.S. Gulf Coast late Oct. 7 as a Category 1 hurricane. According to an Oct. 8 report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the storm knocked out power to more than 111,000 electric customers throughout the Gulf Coast region and shut two refineries with a combined capacity of 587,000 barrels of oil per day.