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GOM Offshore Production Restored After Hurricane Isaac

September 7, 2012

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Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Isaac, offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico continue to restore production. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team is monitoring the operators’ activities and will work with the offshore operators until operations return to normal. As damage reports are being sent in, reports continue to indicate only minor damage.

18 production platforms had to evacuate their personnel, which is only about three percent of the platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. These stay in the same location throughout a project’s duration.

As part of the evacuation, personnel of the platforms activate the applicable shut-in procedure. This involves closing the sub-surface safety valves located below the surface of the ocean floor to prevent the release of oil or gas. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

It is estimated the almost 50 percent of the current daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. Offshore oil and gas facilities are currently being inspected. Once all standard checks are done, production to undamaged facilities will start again immediately.

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