Tropical Depression Nine. Image courtesy of NASA/NOAA Goes Project.

Just over 20 percent of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s oil production has been shut-in ahead of an approaching tropical depression.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said Tuesday that operator reports indicate an estimated 22.06 percent of current oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in.

That figure is equivalent to 352,946 barrels of oil per day.

The BSEE estimates that about 10.18 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s natural gas production, or about 346 million cubic feet per day, had also been shut-in as of Tuesday.

According to Rigzone, BP began shutting-in production at its Thunder Horse, Na Kika and Atlantis platforms on Tuesday.

Operations at BP’s Mad Dog platform were still continuing as of Tuesday.

Royal Dutch Shell shut-in production at its Coulomb field on Tuesday but the company’s other GoM assets have not been impacted by the storm, Rigzone said.

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are also evacuating platforms and rigs in preparation for Tropical Depression Nine, the BSEE said.

Personnel have been evacuated from one non-dynamically positioned rig, equivalent to 9.09 percent of the 11 rigs of that type currently operating in the Gulf.

A total of seven dynamically positioned (DP) rigs have moved off location and out of the storm’s path as a precaution, the BSEE said.

That number represents 37 percent of the 19 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf.

DP rigs maintain their location while conducting well operations using thrusters and propellers and are not moored to the seafloor.

Data submitted by offshore operators showed that personnel from nine production platforms, or about 1.2 percent of the area’s manned platforms, had been evacuated as of Tuesday.

The BSEE said that, once the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected and production from undamaged facilities will be brought back online immediately.

According to the Weather Channel, Tropical Depression Nine is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm on Wednesday and could reach hurricane strength while in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The weather system is expected to make landfall at Florida’s Gulf Coast on Thursday before moving up into the Carolinas.


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