Over 50% of Gulf of Mexico oil production back on line

As much as 51% of U.S. oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is back to normal following Ida, the BSEE reported.

Over 50% of Gulf of Mexico oil production back on line
Oil production. Image by C Morrison from Pixabay

Oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are reassigning personnel and bringing production back online at their offshore assets following Hurricane Ida. Shell reported it has already restarted production at three of its operated assets, which were evacuated prior to the storm's passage. However, nearly 49% of oil and more than 54% of gas production in the Gulf remains offline.

In an update last Friday, Shell said its Enchilada/Salsa and Auger assets were back online. In addition, according to Shell's update on Sunday, the Appomattox asset is now also back online as the Enchilada / Salsa and Auger assets ramp up production. Shell's Perdido asset in the southwest Gulf of Mexico was never disrupted by the hurricane and the FPSO vessel Turritella (also known as Stones) was also brought back online earlier. The Mars, Ursa and Olympus assets remain shut down.

Shell began staffing its offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico during the course of last week. By Friday, the staffing process began at four assets, including Enchilada/Salsa, Auger, Appomattox and Mars. In Sunday's update, Shell said it was beginning the process of redeploying personnel to the Olympus asset and continued redeployment to the Enchilada / Salsa, Auger, Mars and Appomattox assets. Damage assessments continue at the damaged Shell West Delta-143 (WD-143) offshore facility.

The Shell Norco Manufacturing facility continues to assess the impacts of Hurricane Ida. The site continues to burn residual light hydrocarbon material with visible smoke and the company continues to complete repairs and make improvements to minimize visible burns until power is fully restored. Air monitoring is being conducted at the fence line and Shell is utilizing a third party resource for community air monitoring. Shell will continue this monitoring for the duration of this event.

Another oil major, Chevron, is also reassigning personnel to its Gulf assets. In an update last Friday, Chevron said it had reassigned essential personnel to its operated facilities and restored partial production at the Jack St. Malo and Blind Faith platforms. "Our other facilities that were shut in for Ida are ready to produce once the pipeline export routes resume operations," Chevron said, adding that there was no significant damage to its operated platforms as a result of the hurricane.

The latest U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) report released Sunday shows that personnel are still evacuated from a total of 63 production platforms, 11.25% of the 560 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Regarding oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, the latest report estimates that approximately 48.56% of current oil production and approximately 54.39% of gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is still shut in.