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Storm Barry Shuts 72 pct of U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production

Published in Oil Industry News on Monday, 15 July 2019

Graphic for News Item: Storm Barry Shuts 72 pct of U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production

Storm Barry shuts 72 pct of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production

More than 70 percent of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production remained shut on Sunday after the oil operators had shut facilities and evacuated offshore workers ahead of the Hurricane Barry.

Hurricane Barry made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday and has since weakened into a tropical storm. According to a CBS report on Saturday, Barry left 70,000 people without power: 67,000 in Louisiana and 3,000 in Mississippi.

As for the effects on the offshore oil and gas industry, as reported last week, the operators such as Shell, Anadarko, BP, Byron, and others had evacuated platforms and rigs in the path of the storm and had shut production across their offshore facilities.

According to the latest update by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement released on Sunday, 72.82 percent of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico had been shut-in, equating to 1,376,265 barrels of oil per day.

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BSEE said on Sunday that approximately 61.68 percent of the natural gas production or 2,780 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico had been shut-in.

Offshore workers have been evacuated from a total of 283 production platforms, 42.3 percent of the 669 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, workers have been evacuated from 10 rigs, of the 21 rigs operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, none of the 20 DP rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico are off location. They have all returned to pre-storm positioning, BSEE said.

Shell platforms shut

In an update on Sunday, Shell said: “Shell continues to monitor and respond to Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico and we are taking actions to keep our people and assets safe.

“Our offshore crews and assets have weathered the storm well; however, we have shut in the Auger, Salsa and the Enchilada assets in the Gulf of Mexico and curtailed production in the Mars Corridor as a result of the effects of this storm.

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“Downstream third-party facilities have experienced weather-related issues, including power loss, that are limiting, restricting or halting some or all of their operating capabilities. We continue to monitor and work with those third-party providers in order to resume normal production as soon as is safely possible.

“Despite the shutdowns and curtailments, approximately 65% of the average daily production of oil and gas flowing across our Shell-operated assets in the Gulf of Mexico is continuing.

“Worker re-deployment, restarting and normal production resumption are all contingent on weather conditions and repair times (if needed). Planning for all of those activities have begun and we will enact those plans when it is safe to do so,” Shell said.

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Anadarko Petroleum last issued an update on Friday, July 12. The company at the time said it had removed all personnel and shut in production at its operated Constitution, Heidelberg, Holstein, and Marco Polo platforms, and had also shut in production at Lucius and Marlin platforms due to downstream infrastructure closures.

“These platforms will remain shut in until the weather has cleared, it is safe to return staff, and/or downstream infrastructure re-opens,” Anadarko said on Friday.

BSEE said on Sunday: “After the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back on line immediately.”

NASA astronaut Christina Koch last Thursday shared the photo of the Tropical Storm Barry as seen from the International Space Station

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