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Following the evacuation and abandonment of 596 oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Isaac, 377 are now manned once more, although oil and natural gas production still remains shut down.
The rigs must be thoroughly inspected and any repairs made before production can be fully restored.
BP has said that “once onsite inspections are complete and facilities deemed safe, they will be restarted, and oil and natural gas production will be recommenced in coming days.” Preliminary aerial inspections have shown no significant damage.
Full production will return for a while longer due to the size and interconnected nature of the infrastructure in the Gulf. The network of platforms, pipelines, and storage facilities must all be checked before operations will return to normal.
Bill Mintz, of Apache Corp. said that “Apache personnel are returning to the platforms and inspecting facilities,” but that “the process of restoring production will take a number of days and will be impacted by the pace of resumption of activities by the pipelines and processing facilities operated by other companies.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com