NEW ORLEANS — Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Storm Don, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE).
BOEMRE says its hurricane response team is monitoring the operators’ activities. The team will be activated and continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to Gulf of Mexico (GoM) oil and gas activities.
Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 11 production platforms, equivalent to 1.6% of the 679 manned platforms in the GoM. None of the 62 rigs currently operating in the Gulf have been evacuated.
From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 6.8% of the current oil production in the GoM has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 2.8% of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. The production percentages are calculated using information submitted by offshore operators in daily reports. The shut-in production figures are estimates which BOEMRE compares to historical production reports to ensure the estimates follow a logical pattern.
BOEMRE says it will continue to update the evacuation and shut-in statistics at 1:00 p.m. CDT each day as appropriate. This survey information reflects nine companies’ reports as of 11:30 a.m. CDT July 28, 2011.
The offshore oil and gas industry has been implementing best practices and lessons learned from the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons, as well as more recent storm events.
Recent studies have shown that extreme storms and hurricanes can force offshore operators to adopt novel decommissioning strategies.