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Offline Gulf of Mexico oil production falls to 13% after Cristobal: BSEE

Highlights

US Gulf crude volumes are still down by 242,681 b/d

Natural gas shut-ins fall to 241 MMcf/d, about 9% of gas

Only 3% of Gulf platforms remained evacuated

Houston — More than 13% of crude oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico remained offline on June 11 after Tropical Storm Cristobal swept through the region during the weekend, bringing the region closer to normalcy during what's expected to be a busy hurricane season.

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Nearly 200,000 b/d of crude came back online from June 10 to June 11, according to daily updates from the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Almost 35% of the US Gulf production was shut-in in advance of the storm. After a peak of 635,781 b/d was shut in, BSEE said 242,681 b/d remained down on June 11, or 13.12% of total US Gulf oil production.

BSEE decreased its gas shut-in estimate from 619 MMcf/d down to 241 MMcf/d, keeping just 8.89% of the offshore gas volumes offline.

BP, Occidental Petroleum and other producers that shuttered some volumes have said they were working to resume operations and production volumes.

"We have safely returned staff to all of our central and eastern [US Gulf] facilities that were affected by Tropical Storm Cristobal, and we are in the process of carefully ramping back up production and resuming normal operations," Oxy said in a statement late June 9.

Ahead of Cristobal's move onshore, BSEE said, operators evacuated 188 platforms and rigs in the US Gulf — roughly 30% of the region's total platforms with working personnel — and relocated several drillships. BSEE said 20 platforms, or 3%, remained evacuated on June 11.

BP reduced output at its Thunder Horse, Atlantis and Na Kika platforms in the US Gulf. Those three BP-operated platforms churn out more than 200,000 boe/d. BP's Mad Dog platform was not affected.

"BP has started to resume normal operations at its four operated platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico," BP said in a June 8 statement, declining to give further updates.

Others such as Shell and Chevron said they had not reduced their US Gulf production volumes during the storm.

Cristobal battered southern Mexico and shut down ports over the past week, before moving through the Gulf of Mexico and depositing heavy rainfall from Louisiana to Florida. The storm hit just as oil prices were moving up, with the OPEC+ group agreeing to extend deeper production cuts at least through July and front-month NYMEX WTI flirting with $40/b for the first time since early March.

Total US Gulf oil production was nearly 2 million b/d before the coronavirus pandemic cratered global demand and oil prices. BSEE was estimating US Gulf oil production at closer to 1.85 million b/d before Cristobal.

However, S&P Global Platts Analytics data estimates that US Gulf crude production will fall to an estimated 1.62 million b/d average for June as some producers reduced their volumes because of lower prices.

In Mexico, Pemex had to shutter production at some of its wells in the area struck by storms Amanda and Cristobal for 10 working days between May and June, CEO Octavio Romero said during a press conference June 7.

Romero did not say how many wells were affected or where they are located. Amanda hit Mexico on May 31, passing through the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Veracruz. Only Chiapas does not have Pemex oil or gas infrastructure.