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

Highlights

368,000 b/d oil, 532.5 Mcf/d of gas remain shut-in

157,000 b/d oil, 144,000 Mcf/d gas output return in past 24 hours

Houston — US Gulf of Mexico upstream operators continued to restore oil and natural gas production Sept. 2 from shut-ins prior to Hurricane Laura lashing the prolific producing region last week, including 157,000 b/d of oil and 144,000 Mcf/d of gas in the previous 24 hours, according to a top federal agency.

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Just 368,223 b/d of oil output, or nearly 20% of the region's total, remained shut in at midday Sept. 2, as well as 532.5 Mcf/d, or nearly 20% of gas output, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in its daily update.

In total, 1.19 million b/d of oil production, and 1.12 Bcf/d of gas output, have been restored in the past six days, following powerful Category 4 Hurricane Laura's approach, and eventually its slamming, the western Louisiana shore near the Texas border Aug. 31.

In addition, 59 US Gulf production platforms were still evacuated Sept. 2, or 9% of the US Gulf's total platforms, compared to 297 evacuated at peak.

The Sept. 2 figures represent reporting from 32 companies, one less than Sept. 1.

But that does not mean the 157,000 b/d of oil and 144,000 Mcf/d of gas production restored in the previous 24 hours came from a single company, BSEE spokeswoman Karla Marshall said, noting, "many companies have more than one platform in the US Gulf."

Platform restorations an uneven process

Therefore, a company may restore production from one of its platforms on one day, none another day, but continue to restore output on successive days, she said.

Thus, making generalizations about the numbers is "not that neat," she said.

BSEE reports do not identify individual reporting operators.

At peak, 1.559 million b/d of oil (84% of the Gulf's total), and 1.6 Bcf/d of gas (61% of the total), had been shut-in.

Currently, Tropical Storm Nana is crossing the Central American isthmus spanning Belize, Guatemala, and parts of southern Mexico, but appears to pose no threat to North American production.

But a low-pressure disturbance brewing midway between the West African coast and the Windward Islands has a 30% chance of developing into a cyclone within five days, according to the US' National Hurricane Center. Behind it, a tropical wave is also coursing off West Africa with a 60% chance of developing into a cyclone in five days, NHC said.