Crew From 177 Production Platforms, 6 Rigs And 4 DP Rigs In the Gulf of Mexico Have Been Evacuated

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September 3, 2021

NEW ORLEANS Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) activated its Hurricane Response Team as Hurricane Ida made its way through the Gulf. The Hurricane Response Team is monitoring offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf as they evacuate platforms and rigs in response to the storm. The team works 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 oil and gas activities.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT Thursday, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 177 production platforms, 31.61 percent of the 560 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and gas are produced. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration.

Personnel have been evacuated from six rigs (non-dynamically positioned), equivalent to 54.55 percent of the 11 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, platform rigs, all submersibles and moored semisubmersibles.

A total of 4 dynamically positioned rigs have moved off location out of the storm’s projected path as a precaution. This number represents 26.7 percent of the 15 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Dynamically positioned rigs maintain their location while conducting well operations by using thrusters and propellers. These rigs are not moored to the seafloor; therefore, they can move off location in a relatively short time frame. Personnel remain on-board and return to the location once the storm has passed.

Related Article; Workers flee 90 Offshore Facilities As Extremely Dangerous Hurricane IDA Churns Toward Oilfields

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate the applicable shut-in procedure, which can frequently be accomplished from a remote location. This involves closing the sub-surface safety valves located below the surface of the ocean floor to prevent the release of oil or gas, effectively shutting in production from wells in the Gulf and protecting the marine and coastal environments. Shutting in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 93.55 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in. BSEE estimates that approximately 91.29 percent of the gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in. The reported curtailment (shut-in) production for September 1 was incorrect. A prescheduled changeover of IT services well ahead of Hurricane Ida affected the data. The issue has been corrected and today’s reported totals are accurate. The production percentages are calculated using information submitted by offshore operators in daily reports. Shut-in production information included in these reports is based on the amount of oil and gas the operator expected to produce that day. The shut-in production figures therefore are estimates, which BSEE compares to historical production reports to ensure the estimates follow a logical pattern.

After the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back online immediately. Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back online.

 TotalPercentage of GOM
DP Rigs Moved-off426.7%
 Total shut-inPercentage of GOM Production
MMCFD Shut-in
BSEE will continue to update the evacuation and shut-in statistics at 1:00 p.m. CDT each day as appropriate. This survey is reflective of 38 companies’ reports as of 11:30 CDT 9/2/2021


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