NEW YORK, May 2 Planned month-long maintenance
at a major BP gas processing plant in Pascagoula,
Mississippi, will shut in a "tremendous" amount of Gulf of
Mexico oil production, the chief executive of Plains Exploration
& Production said on Thursday.
Plains said it had been notified by BP that the plant would
be shut for 36 days beginning on May 3; the planned maintenance
had been announced in 2012. The plant processes production from
wells in the eastern corridor of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
"It is shutting in a tremendous amount of oil production in
the Gulf of Mexico," Jim Flores, chairman, president and CEO at
Plains, told analysts on a conference call following earnings.
"It's shutting in Thunder Horse, Ni Kika, Horn Mountain,
Marlin and so forth for 36 days. So you'll probably see the HLS
(Heavy Louisiana Sweet) crude oil tighten."
He did not provide an estimate for the total shut-in, but
BP-operated Thunder Horse is the biggest platform in the world
with the capacity to produce 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) and
200 million cubic feet per day. Na Kika, also operated by BP,
can pump 110,000 bpd.
Asked about the maintenance and its impact on upstream oil
production, a BP spokesman said the company typically does not
comment on day-to-day activities.
Net average daily sales volumes from the Horn Mountain
platform and the Marlin Hub, both of which Plains bought from BP
last year, was 44,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the
first quarter of 2013, Plains said.