Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Hurricane Gustav. The Minerals Management Service has activated its Continuity of Operations Plan team to monitor the operators’ activities. This team will be activated until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.
Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CST today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 223 production platforms, equivalent to 31.1 % 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 45 rigs have also been evacuated; this is equivalent to 37.2 % 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 76.77 % 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 37.16 % 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.