Floating production systems

Ida Recovery Continues as New Storm Spins to Life

Shell moves nonessential personnel off its Perdido deepwater platform as a result of Tropical Storm Nicholas.

Cleanup following Hurricane Ida continues as Nicholas begins to impact the Texas Gulf Coast.
SOURCE: National Hurricane Center

Operators in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are still working to recover and take stock of damage caused by Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm that cut a destructive swath across the heart of the offshore US oil patch earlier this month. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) most recent report issued this afternoon found personnel are still evacuated from a total of 47 production platforms, or 8.4% of the 560 manned platforms in the GOM.

From operator reports, the agency is estimating that around 43.6% of the oil production remains shut in, and Just over 51% of natural gas production from the region also remains offline.

BSEE added that GOM facilities continue to be inspected post-Ida.

While industry continues to feel the lingering effects of the earlier storm, Tropical Storm Nicholas formed in the far southeastern GOM. At press time the storm was trekking north toward the southern Texas coast and was expected to make landfall as a tropical storm along the central Texas coast tonight. Nicholas currently boasts maximum sustained winds of around 60 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening could occur prior to landfall.

Shell confirmed that it removed some nonessential personnel from its Perdido oil and gas platform in the western GOM as a precaution ahead of Nicholas.

The operator reportedly will be ready within a week to restart pipelines idled by Ida. Shell’s Appomattox deepwater platform, which did not take a direct hit from the hurricane, came back online over the weekend. However, its West Delta-143 offshore platform, a junction installation that handles oil from Shell’s prolific Mars basin, was severely damaged by Ida and remains offline.

Elsewhere, BP resumed operations at its Atlantis and Mad Dog deepwater facilities. Operations are expected to resume at Thunder Horse and Na Kika in the coming days, but the company added it could not predict how long this process will take.

BP also temporarily relocated its shore base from southeast Louisiana to Galveston, Texas, and heliport to Lafayette, Louisiana, while it works to repair damage to the area.