Recovery of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production continues as Tropical Depression Harvey is losing its punch and moving northeast, dropping its tropical characteristics on its path toward the Ohio Valley. Widespread flooding is expected to continue in Texas around Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange, and toward the Louisiana border through the weekend.
Operators reported as of 11:30 CDT today that personnel remain evacuated from a total of 75 production platforms, or 10%, of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
Personnel have returned to all five of the previously evacuated nondynamically positioned (DP) rigs, 50% of the total number operating in the Gulf. None of the 21 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf moved off location out of the storm’s path.
BSEE estimated that approximately 8.7% of the current oil production of 1.75 million B/D in the Gulf remains shut in, equal to 152,989 B/D; 12.6% percent of the natural gas production of 3,220 MMcf/d, or 406 MMcf/d, remains shut in. This is a 10% improvement in oil production, and 6% improvement in gas production since yesterday’s report.
Since the storm has passed, operators have begun inspecting facilities and resuming production. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back on line immediately. Facilities sustaining any damage may take longer to bring back on line.
Energy companies have started assessing facilities and infrastructure damage with commercial drones.
BSEE inspectors began overflights of offshore facilities to evaluate facilities and monitor for pollution. At this point, no damage reports from oil and gas operators have been received.
Nearly 30% of total US refining capacity remains affected to some extent. As of 8:00 a.m. EDT today, 10 refineries in the Gulf Coast region were shut down, according to the US Department of Energy. These refineries have a combined refining capacity of 3.1 million B/D, or about 32% of total Gulf Coast (PADD 3) refining capacity and 17% of total US refining capacity.
Four refineries were operating at reduced rates (an increase of two). The refineries have a combined capacity of 1.1 million B/D, equal to 11% of total Gulf Coast (PADD 3) refining capacity and 6% of total US refining capacity.
Six refineries had begun the process of restarting from being shut down, which may take several days or weeks to start producing product, depending on damage. These refineries have a combined capacity of 1.3 million B/D, or 13% of total Gulf Coast (PADD 3) refining capacity and 4.2% of total US refining capacity.
On 26 August, the Texas Railroad Commission estimated that approximately 300,000 to 500,000 B/D of crude production had been shut in in the Eagle Ford region from a pre-storm production estimate of 870,000 B/D. Approximately 3.0 Bcf/d of natural gas production had been shut in from a pre-storm estimate of about 6.0 Bcf/d. The Commission had expected most idled production to come back online in the next few days.