Valero update (2 p.m.)
“Valero continues to closely monitor the track and strength of Tropical Storm Gustav. Our Gulf Coast refineries from Houston to St. Charles, La. remain on alert and at this time are operating at planned rates. We have taken preliminary precautions to secure equipment and have lined up emergency supplies if they’re needed.
No specific timetable has been set at this point for making a decision on whether to reduce rates, shut down units or evacuate personnel. Those decisions will be made when more is known about the storm’s strength and projected path, and we will work closely with local authorities. Because safety is our top priority at Valero, we will take the necessary steps to protect our personnel, our equipment and our communities as the situation warrants.”
Minerals Management Service update (1:10 p.m. based on 11:30 a.m. survey)
“NEW ORLEANS — Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 6 production platforms, equivalent to 0.84 % 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 17 rigs have also been evacuated; this is equivalent to 14.05 % 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 6.62 % of the oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in. Estimated current oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. It is also estimated that approximately 1.84 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in. As of June 2008, estimated current natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico 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.”
BP update (1 p.m.):
“If the hurricane path continues to evolve as suspected we will evacuate offshore personnel as a precaution from operated platforms by midday tomorrow. Production will be ramped down today and tomorrow in preparation for the storm, with operated production completed tomorrow before completion of evacuations. Next message tomorrow at 10 a.m.”
Murphy Oil Corp. update via Bloomberg (11:30 a.m.)
“Murphy Oil Corp., a U.S. oil producer and refiner, is reducing feedstocks to two units at its Meraux, Louisiana, refinery as Tropical Storm Gustav is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast.
The refinery is cutting feedstocks to its alkylation and residual-oil units, Dory Stiles, a Murphy spokesman, said today in a telephone interview.
“The refinery is operating today,” Stiles said. “As time goes by, we will determine if we have to shut down.”
The Louisiana refinery can process 120,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
Murphy’s offshore production isn’t currently affected by the storm, Stiles said. Yesterday, the company said it started evacuating non-essential personnel from platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.”