Ida one of worst storms to hit US offshore energy production since 2005

Hurricane Ida has had one of the biggest impacts on US offshore energy output since the Katrina-Rita-Wilma sequence of Atlantic hurricanes in 2005.

Some offshore oil and gas companies could be looking at weeks of assessment, repair and restart efforts before operations are resumed at some facilities, according to reports.

More than 90% of US Gulf production capacity shut down before the arrival of Id. And, more than a week later, about 80% remains offline, according to the most recent figures from the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Of the 560 manned production platforms in the Gulf, 79 remained evacuated.

Shell said last week that there had been damage aboard its West Delta-143 shallow-water platform, a key transfer hub for its production from the Mars, Olympus and Ursa tension leg platforms, which are located further offshore. These are still offline, Shell said. WD-143 normally handles about 200,000 barrels per day of crude production, more than 10% of the total amount produced in the US Gulf.

Shell said that it is in the process of re-manning two other production platforms. However, it warned that the restart schedule for its offshore facilities would be dependent on the readiness of the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to transport its production.

Four of the 11 active non-DP drilling rigs in the region remained evacuated, and two DP-enabled rigs have not returned to station, according to BSEE data. As has been reported the Noble Globetrotter II (IMO 9600786) sustained hull damage and flooding in the storm, and its operator has declared force majeure. The vessel has diverted to Pascagoula, Mississippi for repairs.

Repairing, resupplying and re-manning the US Gulf offshore facilities has been hampered by the damage and disruption at Port Fourchon, the industry’s most important supply hub and a victim of a direct hit by Hurricane Ida. The port itself reopened to navigation last Friday September 3rd, but many of its facilities were damaged.

Ida could reduce total US production by as much as 30m barrels this year, according Reuters, citing energy analysts. Offshore US Gulf of Mexico wells produce about 1.8m oil bpd, which is 16% of the daily US total.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 remain the most impactful on Gulf Coast energy facilities. These back-to-back events caused production losses that continued for months and removed about 162m barrels of oil over a three month period. Production in the US Gulf of Mexico in 2005 fell by 12.6%, to 1.28m bpd year on year. Total US oil production fell by 4.7%.

2012-built, Liberia-flagged, 35,676 gt Noble Globetrotter II is owned by Bully I Switzerland care of Noble Drilling US LLC of Sugar Land, Texas, USA.