Nearly half Gulf of Mexico oil production shut

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (BestGrowthStock) – Energy companies were scrambling to restore offshore oil and gas output but almost 50 percent of daily crude production in U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico was shut as of Sunday due to Tropical Depression Bonnie, the U.S. government said.

Oil and natural gas producers said they began flying workers out to the Gulf platforms and rigs on Saturday.

Energy companies have been able to restore only 5 percent of the oil production on Sunday from the total they had shut by Saturday as Bonnie crossed production areas off the Gulf coast, according the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Shell Oil Co, the Gulf’s No. 1 natural gas producer and No. 2 oil producer, said it began restoring production after Bonnie dissipated into a disorganized low-pressure system over the Gulf on Saturday.

“We will continue safe redeployment of personnel, production ramp-up, and rig re-start across our asset locations today and into tomorrow,” Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said in a statement.

Other oil majors like BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron were restoring production as workers returned to the Gulf.

Nearly a quarter of daily natural gas production remains turned off in the Gulf of Mexico with only 1.5 percent of the production restored since Saturday, the bureau said.

Energy companies reported 746,338 barrels per day (bpd), or 46.65 percent, of crude production and 1.41 billion cubic feet per day (cfd), or 22.03 percent, in gas output was shut as of Sunday, the bureau said.

Workers had been evacuated from 84 production platforms, or 13.15 percent, and 10 drilling rigs, or 25.64 percent.

The Gulf of Mexico provides about 30 percent of U.S. crude oil production and 11 percent of national natural gas output.

Bonnie entered the Gulf on Friday after weakening from a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula. Bonnie furthered weakened into a remnant low pressure system Saturday afternoon.

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Nearly half Gulf of Mexico oil production shut