Gulf operators begin evacuations as Tropical Storm Cindy approaches

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico began to evacuate platforms and rigs in preparation for Tropical Storm Cindy, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced.

BSEE activated its hurricane response team, which will continue to work with offshore operators and other federal and state agencies until operations return to normal once the storm passes, the agency said on June 21.

It said that as of 11:30 a.m. CDT, workers had left 40 production platforms, or 5.43% of the 737 manned platforms in the gulf. Workers also had left one nondynamically positioned rig, equivalent to 6.67% of the 15 such rigs currently operating in the gulf, according to BSEE.

None of the 17 dynamically positioned rigs in the gulf has moved off its position. DP rigs use thrusters and propellers to maintain their positions while conducting well operations and can be moved relatively quickly because they are not moored to the sea floor, BSEE explained. Personnel remain onboard and return to the location once the storm has passed.

BSEE said that based on operator reports, about 301,618 b/d, or 17.24%, of the gulf’s current crude oil production and 10,089 MMcfd, or 0.32%, of its gas production have been shut in. BSEE said it would continue to update the evacuation and shut-in statistics each day at 1 p.m. CDT.

Contact Nick Snow at

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