Evacuations begin before Tropical Storm Gustav

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Storm Gustav.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 29 -- Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Storm Gustav.

The Minerals Management Service reported that, based on data from 13 offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST Aug. 29, personnel had been evacuated from 6 production platforms, representing 0.84 % of the 717 manned platforms in the gulf.

Personnel from 17 rigs were evacuated, equivalent to 14.05 % of the 121 rigs currently operating in the gulf.

Estimated current oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is 1.3 million b/d of oil. It is estimated that 6.62 % of the oil production in the gulf, or 86,013 b/d had been shut in at that time, MMS said. As further reports on the storm's progress are revealed, these numbers are expected to increase. MMs will report results daily.

About 1.84 % of the natural gas production in the Gulf, or 136 MMcfd, has been shut in. Gas production from the Independence Hub facility has increased since June, and current total gas production from the gulf is estimated at 7.4 bcfd.

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate shut-in procedures, which can be accomplished from a remote location.

Closing safety valves below the surface to prevent the release of oil or gas.before hurricanes Katrina and Rita, enabled the shut-in valves to function 100% of the time, closing in production and resulting in no major spills from the Outer Continental Shelf.


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