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Hurricane Harvey shuts in 22% of GoM production

Written by  Friday, 25 August 2017 14:14

Operators are evacuating platforms and rigs as Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, spins in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Hurricane Harvey's path. Image from NOAA.

From operator reports obtained by BSEE, it is estimated that about 21.55% of the current oil production of 1.75 MMb/d in the GoM has been shut-in, which equates to 377,117 b/d. 

It is also estimated that some 23.24% of the natural gas production of 3.22 MMcf/d, or 748 MMcf/d in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

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

Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back on line.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT today (25 August), personnel have been evacuated from a total of 86 production platforms, 11.67% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Personnel have been evacuated from four rigs, equivalent to 40% of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating in the GoM, which include jackups, platform rigs, all submersibles and moored semisubmersibles.

One dynamically positioned (DP) rig has moved off location out of the storm’s path as a precaution, representing 4.7% of the 21 DP rigs currently operating in the GoM. Personnel remain on-board and return to the location once the storm has passed.

BSEE’s Hurricane Response Team says they will work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to GoM oil and gas activities.

As of 6 p.m. CDT, Hurricane Harvey was classified as a category 4 hurricane, with wind gusts reading at 74 mph, according to the the US National Hurricane Center. 

NOAA said that sustained hurricane-force winds were spreading onto the middle Texas coast.

"A station at Aransas Pass run by the Texas Coastal Observing Network recently reported a sustained wind of 74 mph (119 km/h) with a gust to 96 mph (154 km/h)," NOAA reported at 6 p.m. CDT on 25 August.

Category 4 hurricanes can reach maximum sustained winds of up to 130 mph (215km/h). 

“The Gulf Coast region of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas is the heart of the nation’s oil and natural gas industry,” says the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). “According to the EIA, the US Gulf of Mexico accounts for nearly 20% of total US crude oil production, and the Texas Gulf Coast is home to more than 25% of US refining capacity. This makes the Gulf Coast the largest domestic supplier of transportation fuels.

“As an industry, we develop extensive guidelines and best practices to assist companies in protecting workers, securing infrastructure and ensuring environmental protections in the case of a supply disruption. America's vast energy infrastructure network is designed to sustain disruptive events like Hurricane Harvey, due to its geographic diversity and industry experience responding to similar storms over the years, such as Rita, Ike and Sandy. Industry engagement with federal, state, and local government officials to improve preparedness for hurricanes and other natural or man-made disasters is another way in which system resilience is improved.”

On 22 August, operator Anadarko began removing personnel working in the GoM, closely watching Harvey. Others, including Shell and Exxon, followed by also evacuating personnel, and shutting in production. 

Read more:

Harvey leads to shut ins, evacuations in GoM

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