Offshore oil and gas operators begin returning staff, restarting production

By Phaedra Friend Troy

After making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday evening, Hurricane Alex has moved inland, losing strength as it travels across Mexico. 

Look to PennEnergy’s Global Offshore Weather Report daily to find out the most up-to-date information about this storm, as well as wind, weather and wave information for the nine busiest offshore regions worldwide.

Following the passage of the hurricane, offshore oil and gas operators and drillers are assessing production facilities, pipelines and drilling rigs and returning personnel to offshore equipment. The BOE is also inspecting facilities to ensure their safety.

US operator Anadarko (NYSE:APC) has already begun efforts to remobilize it staff to the four deepwater production facilities it evacuated in the western Gulf of Mexico in preparation for the storm’s passage.

With 26.33 percent of oil and 14.35 percent of natural gas production in the US Gulf of Mexico shut-in due to Hurricane Alex, production is expected to be brought back on-line over the next few days.

Oil spill clean-up efforts are also expected to ramp back up at the Macondo well. Oil skimming and controlled burn operations were shelved Wednesday because of the severe weather, heightened waves and strong winds associated with the hurricane.

While Hurricane Alex passed well west of the oil spill, the weather that the storm brought delayed the hook-up of the Helix Producer I FSU to the floating riser pipe, an enhanced oil spill containment system that is being installed to better weather hurricanes in the future.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be “extremely active,” with up to 23 named storms and 14 hurricanes forecasted. 

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

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