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Both WTI and Brent benchmarks were up on Tuesday as about 58 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude oil production is still offline, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in its Tuesday update on Tropical Storm Nate.
That 58 percent still offline equates to 1.024 million barrels of oil per day.
Roughly half of the Gulf’s natural gas production remains offline as well, according to the BSEE, or 1485 million cubic feet per day.
“Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT today, personnel remain evacuated from a total of 66 production platforms, which is 9 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico,” the BSEE said in today’s release.
On Sunday, the BSEE reported that more than 92 percent of Gulf of Mexico’s oil production in the U.S. was taken out by Tropical Storm Nate.
The evacuations and preparations to shut down oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico came well ahead of the tropic storm when it was still wreaking havoc in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Among the first to brace for Nate were Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A), ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), BP (NYSE: BP), and Anadarko (NYSE: APC).
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The area hit by the storm is particularly heavily populated with oil rigs, and is responsible for producing 1.6 million barrels of oil daily—a figure which accounts for more than 17 percent of all U.S. crude oil production.
Refineries were also affected by the Tropical Storm, with Shell cutting production at its 225,800-bpd Norco refinery in Louisiana.
Nate is the second major storm in as many months to hit the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt oil production and refining, with Hurricane Harvey the first of this year’s major disruptors to U.S. oil industry.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.