Offshore/subsea systems

Shell Digs Out From Hurricane Ida Storm Damage

Shell reported that most of its production was back online, but some facilities will remain shut-in until the end of the year.

The Perdido platform.
The Perdido platform.
Credit: Photographic Services, Shell International Ltd. ©Stuart Conway.

As Hurricane Ida barreled toward Louisiana on 29 August as a Category 4 storm, US Gulf of Mexico deepwater operators shut in 95% of the region’s oil and gas production. As of 17 September, 77% of oil production and 66% of gas production had been restored, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. However, a comprehensive assessment conducted by Shell of damage from Hurricane Ida to its West Delta-143 (WD-143) offshore facilities revealed significant structural damage that will keep its WD-143 A and WD-143 C platform facilities offline for repairs until the end of 2021 and Q4 2021, respectively.

The WD-143 platform, which serves as a transportation hub to onshore facilities, is owned by Shell Offshore (71.5%) and BP Exploration & Production (28.5%) and is operated by Shell Pipeline Company.

In its Mars corridor, Shell expects its Olympus platform’s production, which flows across the WD-143 C platform, to resume in Q4 2021. The company estimates that production from its Mars and Ursa facilities, which flow across the WD-143 A platform, will not resume until Q1 2022.

The Mars corridor consists of Shell-operated tension-leg platforms Mars, Olympus, and Ursa. Mars and Olympus are owned by Shell Offshore (71.5%) and BP Exploration & Production (28.5%). Ursa is owned by Shell Offshore (45.4%), BP Exploration & Production (22.7%), ExxonMobil (15.96%), and ConocoPhillips(16.96%).

Shell has released at-least-once-daily reports on estimated damage from Ida and from tropical storm Nicholas, which struck the Texas Gulf Coast 16 days later. Unlike Ida, Nicholas did not knock the Gulf’s production offline as it made landfall. However, the Perdido platform's position in the westernmost deepwater Gulf region left it highly exposed to Nicholas. While it was never disrupted by Hurricane Ida, it was temporarily shut down during Nicholas. Shell said it has now restored production at the100,000 BOED asset.

Status of other Shell-operated deepwater Gulf of Mexico facilities is as follows.

  • Turritella (also known as Stones) floating production, storage, and offloading facility is online
  • Enchilada/Salsa and Auger assets online 10 September
  • Appomattox online 12 September

Chevron said on 16 September that it had redeployed essential personnel to all its Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico facilities and restored full production at its Blind Faith asset and partial production at the Jack St. Malo, Big Foot, and Tahiti platforms. Chevron said the Petronius facility also was preparing to resume production.