Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are reboarding platforms and rigs and restoring normal operations following Tropical Storm Harvey. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team continues to monitor the operators’ activities as they return to safe operations.
Oil and gas operators continue to assess their facilities and are required to submit damage reports to BSEE. To date, no damage reports have been received.
Based on the data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 CDT on 4 September, personnel remain evacuated from a total of 14 production platforms, which represents 1.97% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration.
Personnel have returned to all five of the previously evacuated rigs [non-dynamically positioned (DP) rigs], which represented 50% of the total number of rigs operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of offshore drilling facilities, including jackup rigs, platform rigs, all submersibles, and moored semisubmersibles.
None of the 21 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf moved off location out of the storm’s path. DP rigs maintain their location while conducting well operations by using thrusters and propellers. The rigs are not moored to the seafloor; therefore, they can move off location in a relatively short time frame. Personnel typically remain on board and return to the location once the storm has passed.