PASCAGOULA, Mississippi – At least two offshore oil platforms halted operations on June 27 in the US Gulf of Mexico after a fire at a natural gas processing plant in Mississippi shut a crucial pipeline that brings output onshore, several companies have said.
As reported by Reuters, the fire at the Enterprise Products Partners LP plant in Pascagoula was brought under control, but officials were forced to close the 225-mi (362-km) Destin gas pipeline system that can carry 1.2 bcf/d from offshore fields to Pascagoula.
There were no injuries from the fire, Enterprise said, adding the cause was under investigation. Enterprise took ownership of the plant from BP on June 1. Destin, majority-owned by BP with Enbridge as a minority partner, said it was declaring force majeure, a legal clause that allows it to scrap commitments, as a result of the fire.
By Tuesday afternoon, the plant had not yet resumed operations. In a notice, Destin said that Enterprise had not yet indicated a timeline for the restart, and was looking at offering shippers options for alternate offshore transportation.
Destin’s pipeline is connected to more than 10 oil and gas platforms with capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and millions of cubic feet of gas a day.
Murphy Oil Corp. said it shut its Thunder Hawk platform, which has capacity to handle 60,000 b/d of oil and 70 MMcf/d of natural gas.
Murphy added it plans to flow gas to an alternate processing facility and expects minimal disruptions to its operations. Producers in some cases have several different routes to bring output ashore.
LLOG said it was shutting its Delta House floating production system, which has 100,000 b/d of oil and 240 MMcf/d of gas capacity.
BP declined to comment on the status of its Thunder Horse and Na Kika platforms, both of which tie into the Destin pipeline and together produce close to 400,000 b/d of oil and more than 700 MMcf/d of natural gas.