Gulf of Mexico energy operations pick up pieces after Nate

More than 90 percent of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico idled.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Oct. 9, 2017 at 7:50 AM
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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- With the remnants of Nate making its way Monday up the northeastern U.S. border, energy companies said they've started the process of manning offshore rigs.

Nate bounced along the southern U.S. border during the weekend, making landfall twice as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., said Monday that Nate is now a post-tropical cyclone moving northeast through the central Appalachian region. A few inches of rain are expected for parts of New England.

A spokesperson for Norwegian energy company Statoil told UPI there were no operational updates for its Titan platform as of Monday morning. Staff was pulled from the platform, which was not in production at the time, last week.

Anadarko Petroleum said in an update from Sunday evening that it was in the process of redeploying personnel to its facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We expect to resume production as quickly and safely as possible," the company stated.

As of Sunday afternoon, 298 of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Nine of the 13 ports in the southern region were closed still.

The government said that about 92 percent of the total Gulf oil production and 77 percent of the natural gas production was offline because of the impact from Nate. Two refineries, which at a combined capacity of 587,000 barrels per day represented 6 percent of the total regional capacity, were closed down, though one of those was expected to begin the process of restarting by Monday morning.

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.

Nate's landfall came as the southern United States was still recovering from the impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Harvey made landfall in Texas in late August and knocked out much of the regional refining capacity. Irma followed later in September and upended the nation's energy sector when it hit Florida, which has no refineries of its own.

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