Operators Shut 55% of Gulf Gas Ahead of Zeta
Operators in the US Gulf of Mexico have shut in 1.5bn ft3/day of natural gas production ahead of approaching tropical storm Zeta, which is expected to reach hurricane status by the end of today, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said October 27.
Based on operator status reports filed with the BSEE by 11:30 am CDT today, personnel had been evacuated from 154 production platforms in the Gulf, while three non-dynamically positioned rigs had been evacuated and nine dynamically positioned rigs had moved off-location, out of the path of Zeta.
Based on the reports, BSEE estimates that 49.45% of Gulf oil production, or about 914,811 b/d, is now shut-in, along with the 1.5bn ft3/day of natural gas production, which represents 55.35% of the total.
In its 1:00 pm CDT forecast update, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Zeta was moving across the southern Gulf of Mexico, some 785 km south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, at a speed of 22 km/hour and packing maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h.
Sustained winds of 120 km/h are needed to reach hurricane status, and the NHC was predicting hurricane status for Zeta later today. Landfall is expected along the Louisiana Gulf coast about 7 pm CDT on October 28.