US: Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have finalised re-boarding platforms and rigs following the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Michael.
Hurricane Michael entered the Gulf as a tropical storm and quickly spun into a major hurricane, producing rough seas and winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kph) when it made landfall near Panama City, Florida, last Wednesday.
Forecasts made it clear that Hurricane Michael would spare the parts of the Gulf of Mexico with the densest oil and gas infrastructure, off the central and western coasts of Florida. Yet for safety precautions workers on 10 platforms evacuated, and five rigs, which were not moored to the ocean floor, were moved to safer waters before the storm.
According to The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), as of Sunday 13 October, all offshore workers have returned. It was also announced that the BSEE is currently monitoring the operators’ activities and will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations return to normal. From operator reports, the BSEE estimates that approximately 11.7 per cent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been ‘shut-in’ and approximately 6.6 per cent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has also been ‘shut-in’.
Today Oceaneering International also provided an update on the impact of Hurricane Michael on their personnel and manufacturing facility in Panama City.
“In preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Michael, we activated our local emergency preparedness plan, securing the facility, equipment and products, and allowed our personnel time to seek shelter safely. From our initial visual inspection of the site, we are pleased with how well the plant, equipment and products fared during the storm,” commented Roderick Larson, Oceaneering’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“It appears that our equipment, inventory and products are in good condition. However, some of our buildings sustained moderate roof and siding damage. Power has been restored to the facility, and clean-up and repair services are currently underway. Over the coming days, we intend to conduct a further assessment of the site. The safety and welfare of our employees remain our top priorities,” he said.
We anticipate that more details on the impact of Hurricane Michael on other oil and gas operators are still to come.
The full BSEE release can be found here.