UPDATE: GOM Storm Season 2008 gets under way….

One recurring theme that helps keep energy reporters in Houston employed is hurricane season. Shell decided to kick off this year’s edition with the first notice of evacuations from offshore oil and gas operations in advance of Tropical Storm Dolly:

21 Jul 2008Shell GoM Offshore E&P Operations 8AM Central – Upstream
(This information is up-to-date as of 8AM Central, July 21, 2008). Further updates will be provided as needed.
Given the forecast for Tropical Storm Dolly, Shell began evacuations of personnel from some of its Gulf of Mexico West operations area on Sunday, July 20, resulting in the safe evacuation of approximately 125 people. We are planning to evacuate approximately 60 additional personnel on Monday, July 21. No further evacuations are planned at this time after today and based on current information and forecast, we do not expect any impact on Shell operated production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The current path (as of Monday morning) seems to take the storm away from the most active E&P regions of the Gulf, but at the folks at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. note this morning, that can change in a hurry.

Well Hello Dolly! ($131.30/bbl, $10.70/mcf) – Hurricanes are like real estate…location, location, location. Lightweight tropical storm Dolly not likely to have meaningful energy impact as headed for Yucatan Peninsula. That said, could influence Mexican oil production/exports as projected to emerge in Bay of Campeche. Also potential to strengthen into mild Hurricane targeting South Texas. Watch ’em till they disappear. It’s weather, anything can happen.

*** UPDATE ***
The Minerals Management Service puts out a daily summary of the oil and gas production impact of storm-related shut-downs during storm season, with the first one coming this afternoon.
According to the report so far there has been no impact on production, largely because most platforms can continue to operate remotely and have safety features that minimize or prevent spills in the case of storm-related damage.
Here’s some of today’s MMS report, which will be followed by updates here:

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 4 production platforms, equivalent to 0.6 % 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 0.8 % of the 123 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 % of the oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated oil production from the Gulf of Mexico as of January 2008 was 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 0 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico as of January 2008 was 7.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day.