Gulf of Mexico oil sees slow return after Isaac

The oil industry suffered comparatively little damage from Hurricane Isaac, despite its unfortunate path. But more than a week after the storm hit the coast of Louisiana, MarketWatch reports that the industry is still operating at barely more than half capacity in the region.

As of Wednesday, September 5, more than 680,000 barrels per day of oil production had yet to come online, along with 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production. But the offshore oil platforms in the region are being staffed, with only 3 percent still left unmanned, and very little actual damage has been reported to the oil rigs - a striking contrast from the last major Hurricanes to move through the region.

One analyst, Tim Evans with Citi Futures, largely expressed a lack of concern about the slow startup, noting that oil companies were more concerned with making sure that all necessary precautions were taken than with ramping up production immediately.

"Nobody wants to be the environmental bad guy who starts things up right away and then has to shut them right back down because there's a leak," Evans told MarketWatch. "Everybody's going through their check lists twice, trying to make sure there's nothing wrong."

The concern has been emphasized by oil washing up on the Gulf Coast from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, disturbed by the hurricane.

Information on oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico is available at PennEnergy's Research area.


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