Gulf of Mexico oil firms continue evacuation efforts ahead of storm Barry

U.S. Gulf of Mexico operators have continued evacuation operations from rigs and platforms in response to severe weather this week and in preparation for a tropical storm named Barry.

BP’s Na Kika platform. Source: Flickr/BP

Based on Thursday’s update by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), personnel have been evacuated from a total of 191 production platforms, 28.55 percent of the 669 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Personnel have also been evacuated from seven rigs (non-dynamically positioned “DP” rigs), equivalent to 33.33 percent of the 21 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf. Eleven DP rigs, 55 percent of 20 DP rigs operating in the Gulf, have moved off location out of the storm’s path as a precaution.

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 53.39 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 1,009,012 barrels of oil per day.

It is also estimated that approximately 44.51 percent of the natural gas production or 1,237.28 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

This is an indicator that operators are taking the severe weather conditions much more seriously as the numbers from Wednesday’s report were drastically lower – such as only 15 evacuated platforms and four rigs while three DP rigs were moved off location.

Also, Byron Energy said on Wednesday that it would evacuate or has already evacuated and shut in production on its SM71F platform.

In another update, Byron added that that the White Fleet Drilling 350 jack-up rig currently conducting operations on SM74 D14 well would also be evacuated.

Other companies which released statements either regarding the storm on Wednesday or Thursday were Shell, BP, and Anadarko.

Shell evacuated non-essential personnel from seven potentially affected assets and secured all rig operations.

BP also began removing offshore personnel and shutting-in production at its Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Na Kika platforms which produce more than 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Anadarko was another operator which began removing all non-essential personnel from its GOM facilities, more precisely the Constitution, Heidelberg, Holstein, and Marco Polo platforms.


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