Hurricane Ida Rips Through Vital GOM Port
Port Fourchon took the brunt of the Category 4 hurricane as it made landfall Sunday afternoon.
Damage assessment is ongoing after Hurricane Ida cut a path across the heart of the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil patch prior to making landfall as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Port Fourchon serves as a vital hub for vessels serving much of the GOM oil field. Ida lashed the region with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, with higher gusts. The port is understood to have take considerable damage from high winds and storm surge.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately-owned crude terminal in the US, was also in Ida’s path. The facility halted deliveries ahead of the storm. The current status of the facility post-storm is not known.
Oil companies had halted more than 95% of crude output, or 1.74 million B/D, in the GOM by Sunday, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), as Ida bore down on rigs and other infrastructure. The GOM supplies about 17% of the nation’s oil. Production should begin returning today after asset assessments are made confirming that the taps can be turned back on safely.
Shell said Sunday afternoon following US Coast Guard flyover in the GOM it received visual confirmation that its operated Mars, Olympus, and Ursa platforms remained on location. Confirmation comes after a report circulated through various social media outlets that the Mars tension-leg platform had broken free of its moorings during the storm. Shell has scheduled a flyover for this afternoon to assess potential damage to all its assets that were in the path of the storm.
Noble Corporation confirmed that its drillship Noble Globetrotter II encountered hurricane-force conditions. The contractor said the vessel maintained stability throughout the weather event and is operating on its own power with functional marine and safety systems. Unconfirmed reports said an issue with the riser system forced the rig to stay on location and ride out the storm. According to BSEE, the rig was on location near Shell’s Ursa field in Mississippi Canyon Block 809. A full assessment of its condition will be completed as soon as the weather clears.