US offshore production reels still from Ida
The US federal government reported September 7 that nearly 80% of total offshore production in the territorial waters of the Gulf of Mexico remains offline from Hurricane Ida. More than a week after Ida made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in Louisiana and operators are slow to return to work.
“From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 79.33% of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is shut in,” the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported. “BSEE estimates that approximately 77.89% of the gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is shut in.”
That equates to about 1.7bn ft3/day of natural gas and more than 1.4mn barrels/day of crude oil, the agency said.
The production outages categorise Ida as one of the more damaging storms for the US energy sector in well over a decade. US president Joe Biden called for the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to shore up supplies, a response taken after Hurricane Katrina hit the southern US coast in 2005.
Large sections of an ultra-deep water drillship operated by Noble Corporation sank to the bottom of the sea floor due to damage from Ida’s strong winds. Shell, meanwhile, is assessing damage to its West Delta-143 offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Biden on September 7 told an audience in New York City, which was overwhelmed with rain from the remnants of Ida, that climate change posed a genuine threat to the nation.
“The evidence is clear,” he said. “Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here. It’s not going to get any better.”