TS Debby: 44 Percent of Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Shut-In [UPDATE]

gCaptain
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June 25, 2012

Update (1:30 pm CDT): Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 189 production platforms, equivalent to 31.7 percent of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural 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 22 rigs, equivalent to 31.4 percent of the 70 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, submersibles and semisubmersibles.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 44.1 percent of the current daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 34.8 percent of the current daily natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 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.

By The Numbers:

Platforms Evacuated: 189 or 31.7% of GoM
Rigs Evacuated: 22 or 31.4% of GoM
Oil, BOPD Shut-in: 608,025 or 44.1%  of GoM
Gas, MMCF/D Shut-in: 1,565 or 34.8% of GoM

Original: Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Storm Debby, says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team, which is currently activated and monitoring the operators’ activities. The team will continue to work 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 a.m. CDT Sunday, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 61 production platforms, equivalent to 10.2 percent of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.  Personnel have been evacuated from 13 rig, equivalent to 18.6 percent of the 70 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, submersibles and semisubmersibles. BSEE says an update should be available at 1:00 pm CDT.

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. During previous hurricane seasons, the shut-in valves functioned 100 percent of the time, efficiently shutting in production from wells on the Outer Continental Shelf 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 22.7 percent of the current daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 22.9 percent of the current daily natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 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.

Forecasts over how Debby may track have been mixed over the weekend with some pointing towards the western Gulf Coast while others moved towards the central or northeast Gulf Coast into Florida.  Debby is currently stalled in the northeast Gulf of Mexico but models are coming into agreement that it will toward the north-northeast with an eventual landfall later in the week along the Florida Panhandle and Alabama. There is also a scenario of Debby drifting east into north Florida, then off into the Atlantic Ocean, according to Weather.com.

After the hurricane has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back on line immediately. Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back on line. BSEE will continue to update the evacuation and shut-in statistics at 1:00 p.m. CDT each day as appropriate.

By The Numbers:

Platforms Evacuated: 61 or 10.2% of GoM
Rigs Evacuated: 13 or 18.6% of GoM
Oil, BOPD Shut-in: 313,775 or 22.7%  of GoM
Gas, MMCF/D Shut-in: 1,031 or 22.9% of GoM

Updated: 11:30 CDT Sunday

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