Updating energy industry storm preparations

ConocoPhillips update (Friday Aug. 29, 9:30 a.m.)

“The projected path of Gustav is still highly dependent on the status of high pressure over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but several computer models continue to predict the storm will make landfall between the Alabama and East Texas coast, likely on Tuesday.
Given the projected path for the storm the following actions have been taken by ConocoPhillips on the Magnolia platform: Production remains shut-in for the routine maintenance (unrelated to the storm). Crews are preparing their equipment for possible storm conditions. We evacuated a total of 44 ConocoPhillips and contract personnel yesterday. Plans are in place to complete the removal of the remaining personnel today and Saturday if the storm continues on the projected track.
Similar preparations have begun on the South Louisiana Inland Water asset (SELA) operations. Specifically: Rig operations have been stopped and the rig is moving off location today headed to an inland dock.
Rig operations (drilling new well) will been terminated today and the rig will be moved off location on Friday to an inland dock. Miscellaneous well and construction activities on 3 jack-up boats, 3 crane barge spreads, and one remedial spread have or will be suspended later today. The remaining crews will be evacuated or standby their equipment at the dock. Production operations in South Louisiana remain in normal mode.
Operations at ConocoPhillips’ Gulf Coast refineries remain normal at this time. However, appropriate planning is underway to allow for the safe shut down of refinery operations and the removal of refinery personnel as circumstances warrant.

Shell Gulf of Mexico Offshore Exploration & Production Operations (Friday Aug. 29, 9:30 a.m.)

“Our plans in preparation for Tropical Storm Gustav strengthening and entering the Gulf of Mexico later this weekend remain unchanged as we continue to work toward a full evacuation of Shell-operated assets in the Gulf.
We will be down to minimum production operations staffing levels by the end of today and expect to continue the orderly shut-in of all Shell operated Gulf production by Saturday, consistent with our personnel evacuation plans.”

Shell and Motiva Gulf Coast Manufacturing (Friday Aug. 29, 9:30 a.m.)

“Motiva Norco Refinery and Shell Norco Chemical:
Shell Chemical LP and Motiva Enterprises LLC, in consultation with the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center, have activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at their Norco facilities in preparation for the possible impact of Hurricane Gustav.
Our primary focus is the safety of our employees and the public as well as the protection of the environment. The Norco EOC is staffed, and the personnel needed to prepare for the possibility of severe weather remain at the facilities. All other personnel are being released.
Refining and chemical operations continue as normal.”

Transocean update, (Friday Aug. 29, 7 a.m.):

“As of 7 a.m., today, Transocean over the past few days has evacuated approximately 400 personnel from the company’s 11 offshore drilling rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Transocean at this time has 1,150 personnel still onboard its 11 rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The company plans to fully evacuate three moored semisubmersible rigs – with two rigs to be fully evacuated today and one rig to be fully evacuated tomorrow.
The company’s eight DP (dynamically positioned = use thrusters) semisubmersibles and drillships are continuing to prepare to move out of the path of the storm, and these rigs are operated and maintained by crews of essential personnel.”

Shell Gulf of Mexico Offshore Exporation & Production Operations, (5 p.m.)

“Based on forecasts that Tropical Storm Gustav will strengthen again into a hurricane and enter the Gulf of Mexico later this week, we continue to work toward a full evacuation of Shell-operated assets in the Gulf. Today, Shell evacuated over 350 personnel from its GoM operations. We plan to evacuate the remaining offshore personnel on Friday and Saturday.
Given the evacuation of personnel and continued forecast track, we began shut-in procedures today for a few Shell-operated assets that require long lead times, such as subsea wells. These require special operational procedures and can take several days to shut-in properly to ensure re-start after the storm passes.
We expect to continue the orderly shut-in of all Shell operated Gulf production over the next 2 days consistent with our personnel evacuation plans.”

motiva_port_arthur
Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery, which was offline following Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Shell and Motiva (refining partnership with SaudiAramco) update. Essentially they’re still watching and doing lots of pre-storm planning. (4:45 p.m.)

Shell and Motiva Gulf Coast refineries and chemical plants along the Gulf Coast have been closely monitoring the weather developments and taking actions per our hurricane preparedness and response plans as appropriate. ….. To ensure the flow of supplies from Shell and Motiva facilities, our plants prepare and follow detailed hurricane planning and operations procedures that are reviewed and tested prior to each hurricane season.
In advance of a storm, all critical plant functions are considered, including computing services, communications, utilities, and health, safety, and environment. Shell and Motiva also assess the potential impact on deliveries of crude oil and petrochemical feedstocks, outgoing distribution of products, and onsite inventories.
The severity and proximity of a hurricane or major storm to the facility will determine actions taken, including orderly shutdowns of facilities and the evacuation of personnel. …..
Shell and Motiva have a workforce on duty at all times that can operate and maintain a facility safely, or if need be, shut down the units in a safe and controlled manner. The team that stays behind during a storm to maintain control of the site has a mix of expertise deemed essential for the situation. This often includes personnel who work on logistics, security, site supervision, and an EMT. This team is then responsible for communicating with Shell’s Emergency Operations Center.

Drilling contractor Transocean:

Transocean had evacuated approximately 190 non-essential personnel from five of the company’s 11 offshore drilling rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Plans call for additional personnel to be evacuated from the company’s rigs over the next few days.
If the storm tracks into the Gulf of Mexico in the next few days, Transocean would completely evacuate three moored semisubmersible rigs and carry out more evacuations from non-essential personnel from the company’s eight DP (dynamically positioned = use thrusters) semisubmersibles and drillships.
At this time, we have approximately 1,360 people aboard our 11 rigs in the GOM, compared with 1,550 yesterday.

The Minerals Management Service issued its first report on Gustav (based on survey of producers/drillers from early this morning, however). In summary: no impact on production yet.(3:30 p.m.)

” … personnel have been evacuated from a total of 2 production platforms, equivalent to 0.28 % of the 717 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. These structures remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration unlike drilling rigs which typically move from location to location.
Personnel from 1 rig have also been evacuated; this is equivalent to 0.83 % of the 121 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackups, submersibles and semisubmersibles.
From the operators’ reports, it is estimated that approximately 0.00 % of the oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated oil production from the Gulf of Mexico as of June 2008 was 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 0.00 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated current natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico as of June 2008 was 7.0 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Since that time, gas production from the Independence Hub facility has increased and current gas production from the Gulf is estimated at 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day.”

ConocoPhillips update (1:30 p.m.)

Given the projected path for the storm the following actions have been taken by ConocoPhillips on the Magnolia platform: Production remains shut-in for the routine maintenance (unrelated to the storm). Crews are preparing their equipment for possible storm conditions. We expect to evacuate a total of 44 ConocoPhillips and contract personnel today. Plans are in place to complete the removal of the remaining personnel on Friday and Saturday if the storm continues on the projected track.
Similar preparations have begun on the South Louisiana Inland Water asset (SELA) operations. Specifically: Rig operations have been stopped and the rig is moving off location today headed to an inland dock.
Rig operations (drilling new well) will been terminated today and the rig will be moved off location on Friday to an inland dock. Miscellaneous well and construction activities on 3 jack-up boats, 3 crane barge spreads, and one remedial spread have or will be suspended later today. The remaining crews will be evacuated or standby their equipment at the dock. Production operations in South Louisiana remain in normal mode.
Operations at ConocoPhillips’ Gulf Coast refineries remain normal at this time. However, appropriate planning is underway to allow for the safe shut down of refinery operations and the removal of refinery personnel as circumstances warrant.

Houston-based Weather Insight is doing daily updates on how the storm could impact oil and gas production and refineries in the Gulf region. Here’s today’s update (1:33 p.m.):

Refineries susceptible to short-term disruptions: 3,320,800 bpd
Refineries susceptible to longer-term disruptions: 1,598,000 bpd

weatherinsight_aug_28

Shell retail gasoline and supply/distribution: (12:05 p.m.)

“Motiva Enterprises supplies Shell-branded gasoline from the Texas Gulf Coast to Florida and up to the Northeast United States. During hurricane season, Motiva strives to keep its Gulf Coast terminals stocked at safety levels in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane making landfall. Additionally, critical terminals are equipped with backup generators to ensure they are able to quickly restore fuel deliveries to Shell-branded retail gasoline stations following a storm. Motiva has also created a voluntary “keep fill” program for company-owned and direct supplied sites with the objective of maximizing the amount of fuel available in storage tanks throughout the hurricane season.
Motiva is monitoring and preparing for Hurricane Gustav throughout the Gulf Coast to ensure we are prepared for landfall. We are taking steps to ensure terminals and Shell-branded sites are stocked, and additional supplies are being delivered in anticipation of increased motorist demand for fuel. In order to have as much gasoline at retail sites as possible, wholesalers have been reminded of the importance of pre-filling fuel tanks and to prioritize locations on evacuation routes and major arteries.”

BP’s offshore producton update (from recorded message): (11 a.m.)

BP is monitoring tropical activity of Gustav. Produciton is not impacted by the storm. We are completing evacuation of non-essential personnel from offshore operated platforms. Next message tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Refiner Valero (9:27 a.m.)

“As you know, Valero has been closely monitoring the track and strength of Tropical Storm Gustav as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. Our Gulf Coast refineries from Houston to St. Charles, La. are on alert, and Valero is securing emergency equipment and supplies for all our Gulf Coast refineries. Current estimates predict landfall along the mid-Gulf Coast sometime early next week, so we are focusing specific efforts on our 250,000 bpd St. Charles refinery and our 325,000 bpd Port Arthur refinery. We are coordinating our efforts with local governmental officials, and if a mandatory evacuation is declared, we will conduct an orderly shutdown of any affected refinery and evacuate our personnel.”

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