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 continues to monitor offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf as they return to platforms and rigs after the storm. The team works with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal.
Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT today, personnel are still evacuated from a total of 41 production platforms, 7.32 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.
All non-dynamically positions rigs are 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 2 dynamically positioned rigs remain off location. This number represents 13.33 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.
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 23.19 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is shut in. BSEE estimates that approximately 34.33 percent of the gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is 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.
Facilities are currently being 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.