After tropical storm Barry passed through the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana early on Saturday, oil and gas producers began on Monday to slowly restore oil production that had shut in as much as 73 percent of the oil production in the Gulf.
Exxon, Chevron, Anadarko, BHP, and Shell began to return workers to the platforms they had evacuated ahead of the storm.
Last week, those companies evacuated staff from many platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Chevron was evacuating all the staff from five platforms and shutting them down ahead of the storm, and also evacuating some non-essential personnel from a sixth platform. Shell was evacuating four platforms--Appomattox, Mars, Olympus and Ursa—and had reduced production from the Mars and Olympus platforms by more than 2,500 bpd. BP evacuated staff from four platforms that collectively produce over 300,000 bpd of oil and gas. BHP, for its part, was reducing production at two platforms, with the evacuation of staff from Neptune and Shenzi expected to wrap up by this afternoon.
On Sunday, 72.82 percent—or to 1,376,265 bpd—of the current oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was shut-in in response to the tropical storm Barry.
On Monday as of 11:30 CDT, 69.08 percent of the oil production was shut-in, equal to 1,305,558 bpd, according to operator reports submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
“Redeployment and crew-change flights to some of our assets have begun now that weather conditions in the Gulf and onshore have improved,” Shell spokeswoman Cynthia Babski told Reuters on Monday, noting that one Shell platform had limited production on Monday, while three others were still shut.
Phillips 66, which had temporarily closed down its 253,600-bpd Alliance, Louisiana, refinery ahead of the storm, was getting ready on Sunday to restart the refinery on Monday. Most of the Louisiana refineries of major operators were operating normally on Sunday, refinery officials or sources told Reuters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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