Hurricane Ida may be long gone, but bitter memories of its hot march through the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and into the Lower 48 slowed the recovery efforts of the natural gas and oil industries.
Producers working offshore struggled Friday to get their crews back on platforms and oil rigs. Extensive damage in Louisiana’s Houma and Port Fourchon, the main staging areas of the offshore industry, prevented crews from returning to platforms and drilling rigs. Widespread blackouts in the scorching heat had also cut access to most gas stations and prevented processing plants and large refineries from restarting.
According to the Interior Ministry’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 1.99 Bcf / d natural gas, or 89.25%, remained offline in the GOM on Friday afternoon. About 93.33% of the current oil production in the GOM, or 1.698 million barrels per day, has also been shut down.
As of Friday, 133 offshore platforms remained evacuated, or about 24%. Six rigs were also unmanned, or nearly 55%. Four floating rigs, also known as dynamically positioned, had not been returned to their drilling sites off the Ida.
The BSEE should provide daily updates on its website during the Labor Day holiday.
On Friday afternoon, 80% of Royal Dutch Shell plc’s entire GOM production remained offline, with all of the infrastructure on Ida’s route being “completely evacuated”. Shell is the largest producer in the GOM.
A delay in resuming work was due to reported damage to the West Delta (WD) -143 offshore facilities operated by Shell Offshore Inc. Shell operates and holds a 71.5% stake in the facilities, with BP plc holding 28.5%.
The WD-143 systems serve as a transfer station for all production from the Mars Corridor in Mississippi Canyon to the onshore terminals. The Mars Corridor consists of the Shell-operated Mars, Olympus and Ursa tension leg platforms.
In its overflights of the GOM and the onshore facilities it operates, BP said it saw “no apparent major damage.” However, it was planned to cease production pending confirmation.
“We cannot predict how long this process will take,” said a BP spokesman.
Ida’s impact on the GOM was made clearer in Baker Hughes Co.’s weekly report on Friday. The oilfield services company reported a steep drop in GOM of 14 rigs from a week earlier, leaving no active rigs left.
In the hard-hit coastal communities of Houma and Port Fourchon in Louisiana, which serve as bases for more than 200 energy companies, producers faced major obstacles.
BP said the Houma and Port Fourchon facilities “have experienced the brunt of the internal forces from Hurricane Ida, with damage to both facilities that needs repair.
“In the meantime, we will temporarily move our land base and helipad to other locations. BP’s midstream and downstream assets are in various phases of commissioning, awaiting plant inspections and power restoration. “
By Friday, the Entergy Corp. around 225,000 customers in Louisiana were supplied with electricity again. The Category 4 storm at its peak hit nearly 950,000 customers Entergy served in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi.
However, full restoration remained a moving goal. An extensive damage assessment by Entergy crews on Friday revealed more than 14,000 damaged or destroyed masts, 2,223 damaged or destroyed transformers and 155 destroyed transmission structures.
Entergy is expected to restore power to parts of Port Allen, Zachary, the CBD of New Orleans and the Baton Rouge subway area in Louisiana by Tuesday September 7th. Orleans Parish could restore power on Wednesday, the utility company said.
Entergy “provided backup generation and restoration of power to a number of critical service providers including hospitals and sewage plants,” management noted. The company also worked “individually with large industrial customers, including refineries and manufacturing facilities, to coordinate their restoration”.
Thousands of individuals and companies continued to deliver essential relief supplies to aid the devastated area.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips announced that it is donating $ 500,000, which will be shared between the American Red Cross and local United Way organizations, to support relief efforts in Louisiana. The company also plans to double donations from its U.S. employees.
ConocoPhillips, through its subsidiary The Louisiana Land and Exploration Co. LLC, is the largest private owner of wetlands in Louisiana. It also has an office in Houma.