15 percent of Gulf oil production shut in ahead of Hermine, feds say

(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Offshore safety officials say oil companies have shut in more than 15 percent of the crude production in the Gulf of Mexico and have evacuated workers from 10 production platforms and one drilling rig in the region as Tropical Storm Hermine approaches.

That’s more than 242,000 barrels a day of oil production. In recent days, Gulf drillers have also shut in 307 million cubic feet a day of natural gas production, about 9 percent of the gas output in the region, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Thursday.

The evacuated platforms amount to less than 2 percent of the 750 facilities active in the Gulf, and the evacuated rig is one of just 11 drilling machines working in the region. Three other so-called dynamically positioned rigs, which aren’t moored to the ocean floor, have moved out of the path of the storm.

BSEE said it’s working with offshore drillers and government agencies until the storm passes, and after that, it will inspect the offshore facilities for any damage. “Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back on line,” the BSEE said.