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BSEE updates on offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico following Barry

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 15:14:24-04

GULF OF MEXICO — The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team says they are continuing to monitor offshore oil and gas operators as they re-board platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Evacuations began prior to the landfall of then Tropical Storm Barry. BSEE says their response team will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal in federal waters.

They say the storm is no longer impacting Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.

Personnel, according to BSEE, remain evacuated from a total of 60 production platforms, 8.97 percent of the 669 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.

The following is more information form BSEE on procedures and operations as of Thursday July 18, 2019.

Personnel remain evacuated from 1 rig (non-dynamically positioned "DP" rigs), equivalent to 4.76 percent of the 21 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.

None of the 20 DP rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico are off location. They have all returned to pre-storm positioning. DP rigs maintain their location while conducting well operations by using thrusters and propellers, the rigs are not moored to the seafloor; therefore, they can move off location in a relatively short time frame. Personnel remain onboard and return to the location once the storm has passed.

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate applicable shut-in procedures, 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. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 18.78 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut-in, which equates to 354,985 barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 18.68 percent of the natural gas production, or 519.3 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico remains 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.

There were multiple reports submitted of damage to heliport skirting, hand rails, and grating.

Now that the storm has passed, facilities will continue to 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.

 Total Percentage
Platforms Evacuated608.97%
Rigs Evacuated14.76%
DP Rigs Moved-Off00%
   
 Total Shut-InPercentage of GOM Production
Oil, BOPD Shut-in354,985 (BOPD)18.78%
Gas, MMCFD Shut-in519.3 (MMCFD)18.68%