Storm Gordon shuts 9 pct of Gulf of Mexico oil output

Pompano oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of Deep Sea Medicines Cruise 2003 NOAA Ocean Exploration.

Oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico have shut down production and evacuated personnel from its offshore platforms due to Tropical Storm Gordon. Over 9% of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

Reuters reported on Tuesday that oil companies ExxonMobil, Talos Energy, and Chevron joined Anadarko in its decision to evacuate employees and shut in platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Namely, Anadarko on Monday shut down production and evacuated workers from its Horn Mountain and Marlin facilities in the Gulf.

According to Reuters, Talos stopped output at its Ram Powell, Amberjack and Pompano platforms, ExxonMobil halted its Lena platform, and Chevron curtailed its Petronius platform.

BP said it was closely monitoring Tropical Storm Gordon to ensure the safety of its workers and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

“At this time, normal operations continue at all BP-operated offshore production facilities. We remain prepared to respond as conditions warrant and as part of BP’s year-round efforts to plan, train and prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season,” BP said.

54 platforms evacuated

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Tuesday that its Hurricane Response Team is monitoring offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf as they evacuate platforms and rigs in preparation for the storm.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, BSEE said that personnel had been evacuated from a total of 54 production platforms, 7.86 percent of the 687 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, personnel have been evacuated from one non-dynamically positioned rig, equivalent to five percent of the 20 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf, and a total of one dynamically positioned rig has moved off location out of the storm’s path as a precaution. This number represents 5.2 percent of the 19 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf.

Over 9% of oil output shut-in

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 9.23 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 9.06 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its notice issued on Wednesday that the center of Gordon is moving over land just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border. At 100 AM CDT (0600 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located near latitude 30.8 North, longitude 88.8 West. Gordon is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, the center of Gordon will move across the lower Mississippi Valley through Wednesday. A turn toward the north-northwest and north is forecast to occur on Friday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Continued rapid weakening is expected while the system moves over land, and Gordon is forecast to become a tropical depression later this morning.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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