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BSEE Monitors Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Activities in Response to Hurricane Ian

BSEE Monitors Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Activities in Response to Hurricane Ian

The BSEE Hurricane Response Team continues to monitor Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.

NEW ORLEANS — The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has activated its Hurricane Response Team and is monitoring offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf as they evacuate platforms and rigs in response to the storm. The team works with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 AM CDT today, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 12 production platforms, which represents 2.3 percent of the 521 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the offshore structures from which oil and natural gas are produced and transported to shore. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration.

Personnel have been evacuated from two rig(s) (non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig), equivalent to 15.38 percent of the 13 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, platform rigs, all submersibles and moored semisubmersibles.

A total of four DP rigs have moved off location out of the storm’s path as a precaution. This number represents 21 percent of the 19 DP rigs currently operating in the Gulf. DP rigs maintain their location while conducting well operations by using thrusters and propellers. These rigs are not moored to the seafloor, so they can move out of harm’s way in a relatively short time frame. Personnel remain on-board and return to the original location once the storm has passed.

As part of the evacuation process, personnel activate the applicable shut-in procedure, which can frequently be accomplished from a remote location. This involves closing safety valves located below the surface of the ocean floor to prevent the release of oil or gas, effectively shutting in production from wells in the Gulf and protecting the marine and coastal environments. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 11 percent of the current oil production and 8.56 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. The production percentages are calculated using information submitted by offshore operators in daily reports. Shut-in production information included in these reports is based on the amount of oil and gas the operator expected to produce that day. The shut-in production figures therefore are estimates, which BSEE compares to historical production reports to ensure the estimates follow a logical pattern.

After the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back online immediately. Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back online.




Percentage of GOM

Platforms Evacuated



Rigs Evacuated



DP Rigs Moved-off



Total shut-in Percentage of GOM Production

Oil, BOPD Shut-in



Gas, MMCFD Shut-in



BSEE will continue to update the evacuation and shut-in statistics at 1:00 p.m. CDT each day as appropriate. This survey is reflective of nine companies’ reports as of 11:30 CDT today.