US Gulf of Mexico producers continue the enormous task of assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Ida to offshore production platforms, pipelines, refineries, and vessels.
Hurricane Ida, the most intense hurricane to hit Louisiana in 150 years, made landfall on Sunday near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour and swamping the area with 10 to 18 inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Centre.
The resulting widespread flooding and power outages have slowed efforts to assess damages across the impacted region and prolonging the shut-in of oil and natural gas production offshore.
Some 1.7 million barrels per day, or 93.7%, of oil production and 2.1 billion cubic feet, or 94.5%, of natural gas output remains shut in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Based on data from offshore operators, personnel were evacuated from a total of 278 production platforms, 49.6% of the 560 manned platforms in the US Gulf.
Personnel have been evacuated from nine non-dynamically positioned rigs, about 82% of the 11 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf. A total of four dynamically positioned rigs have moved off location out of the storm’s projected path as a precaution. This number represents 26.7% of the 15 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf, according to BSEE.
Oil tankers wait to offload
More than two dozen oil tankers are clustered off Louisiana seaports on Tuesday as the US Coast Guard and port operators assess damages caused by Ida, according to a Reuters report.
Some 30 tankers remained moored off the Louisiana coast waiting to load or discharge cargoes, with the largest bottlenecks near Baton Rouge and Lake Charles. Refiners served by those ports include ExxonMobil and Citgo Petroleum.
Reuters reported that the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the only deep-water port that accommodates supertankers, remained closed, although an initial review found no major damage to marine operations according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Louisiana ports of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Plaquemines, South Louisiana, St. Bernard, Venice, Houma, Morgan City, Port Fourchon and the South West Pass Lightering Area, remained shut to vessel traffic. A portion of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway off Mobile, Alabama, was also closed, the Coast Guard said.
Most of the anchored tankers were waiting outside the Mississippi River, the United States' most important commercial waterway. Power lines from a downed transmission tower near Avondale, Louisiana, were still in the river on Tuesday.