Ida continues to impact US energy sector
An updated assessment from the US federal government on September 2 found nearly all of the oil and gas production was still offline nearly a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall.
Ida made landfall August 29 in Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane, but weakened to a tropical depression as it moved northeast. The remnants, however, brought heavy rains to New York City and the surrounding areas in early September, overwhelming municipal drainage systems.
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Operators started moving rigs and evacuating personnel from offshore installations days before the storm moved toward the US Gulf Coast. More than a week after those initial responses, however, and much of the offshore oil and gas production remains offline.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), part of the Interior Department, reported that about 94% of the total oil production and 91% of the total natural gas production from offshore installations remains shut in.
Some refineries that were idled due to widespread power outages are restarting, though some operators are reporting damage to their offshore installations.
The offshore subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell said September 2 it observed damage to its West Delta-143 facilities during a recent flyover.
“The WD-143 facilities serve as the transfer station for all production from our assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico to onshore crude terminals,” the company explained.
Shell was, however, able to return a floating production facility to service earlier this week.
Elsewhere, offshore driller Noble Corp. declared force majeure for its Noble Globetrotter II ultra-deepwater drillship, adding that some crew suffered minor injuries during the severe weather associated with Ida.
Noble said its initial findings show parts of the infrastructure were dislodged and sank to the seabed, though it said replacements could be installed in relatively short time.
There are three other storms brewing in the Atlantic. Hurricane Larry formed early September 3 and is expected to approach the Caribbean Islands as a major hurricane by September 9.