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Gulf oil, gas output resuming slowly as Michael is downgraded to tropical storm

Oil and natural gas production that was shut-in due to platform and rig evacuations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for former Hurricane Michael is returning very slowing, data from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement shows.

As of 1 p.m. CT on Oct. 11, the agency estimates that about 680,107 barrels of oil per day and about 744 MMcf/d of gas remains shut-in. This is about 40% of daily oil output and 29.1% of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, down from 42.3% and 31.7%, respectively, on Oct. 10.

After leaving a trail of destruction from Florida to Georgia, Michael was downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm early Oct. 11. According to a 2 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center, Michael was producing flooding rain and tropical storm force winds over portions of South Carolina and North Carolina. The agency said Michael is expected to continue to move across central and eastern North Carolina and into southern Virginia and the western Atlantic Ocean late Oct. 11.

Based on data from offshore operator reports from 30 companies, personnel remains evacuated from 59 production platforms, or about 8.6% of the 687 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, two of the region's 22 rigs are evacuated. All dynamically positioned rigs that were moved off location due to the storm have returned.