Oct. 12 (UPI) — Some hydrocarbon producers that evacuated facilities and suspended extraction in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Michael had not yet fully restarted operations as of noon on Friday.
As much as 32 percent of the area’s crude oil production and 13 percent of the natural gas production still “shut-in,” a U.S. agency said Friday.
The volumes indicated in the Friday report by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement corresponding to the ‘shut-in’ production were 550,313 barrels per day of crude oil and 334 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
As of 11:30 a.m. EST on Friday, personnel from only nine production platforms, or just over one percent of the total 687 manned platforms, remained evacuated.
“The production percentages are calculated using information submitted by offshore operators in daily reports. Shut-in production information included in these reports is based on the amount of oil and gas the operator expected to produce that day,” the agency said.
The report showed progress from a day earlier, when the agency indicated 40 percent of crude oil production and 30 percent of the area’s gas output were still out, pending advances in the process of completing inspections.
The agency expects that “once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back on line immediately,” it said. It did not mention any damage.
The agency had said Thursday that evacuations affected 59 production platforms, or only nine percent of the total.
By Thursday noon all the drilling rigs that are not moored but use propellers, and which were moved off location, were back to the area where they operate, the agency reported at the time.
According to the Energy Information Agency, the Gulf of Mexico’s oil production reached 1.8 million barrels per day in July.
Hurricane Michael moved north in the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend and early in the week before it made landfall in the north Florida coast on Wednesday.
Its path shows that while it was in the Gulf of Mexico it moved east of the concentration of oil and gas offshore production infrastructure located across the Louisiana and Texas coasts.