HOUSTON (Reuters) - Some U.S. oil and gas producers in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Mexico are returning workers to offshore facilities and restarting operations as hurricane Hermine moves toward Florida.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) on Thursday said it was returning non-essential personnel to its Marco Polo, Constitution and Heidelberg facilities. Non-essential staff will return to Anadarko’s Independence facility on Friday, a company representative said.
Hess (HES.N) on Thursday said it was preparing to return personnel to its Gulf of Mexico facilities.
Shell’s Coulomb field, which ties back to the Na Kika platform, will remain shut until downstream assets resume operations.
BP Plc (BP.L) said on Wednesday it had reopened its Atlantis platform, one of three it had idled on the storm threat. On Thursday, BP said it was moving to reopen the Destin pipeline it operates on Friday.
Other operators who have pulled workers off platforms include BHP Billiton Ltd BLT.L.
Other companies that moved rigs and said they were monitoring the storm, which is expected to make landfall in Florida early Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Chevron (CVX.N) on Thursday said it would shut its Panama City, Florida terminal overnight as a precaution, with plans to reopen on Friday. It said its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi would monitor the storm.
The U.S. government said on Thursday that so far operators have shut output equal to 242,836 barrels per day of oil equivalent and 307 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico due the storm.
The closures represent 15.18 percent of normal oil output and 9.03 percent of natural gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said.
The government’s estimate for oil outages were slightly higher on Wednesday.
The shut-ins, while relatively small, represent the most significant weather-related outages for the offshore energy sector since at least 2013 in the United States.
Based on data submitted to BSEE, personnel have been evacuated from 1.3 percent of the 750 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 20 percent of U.S. oil production and around 5 percent of natural gas output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
About 30 percent of U.S. natural gas processing plant capacity and 40 percent of the country’s refining capacity is also on the Gulf Coast, mainly around Louisiana and Texas, the EIA has said.
Below is a list of shut-ins confirmed by companies:
-BP has shut two of its four operated platforms in the U.S. Gulf, which have the following design capacities:
Thunder Horse, 250,000 b/d oil, 200 mmcf/d gas
Na Kika, 130,000 b/d oil, 500 mmcf/d gas
-On Wednesday, BP said Atlantis was online after being idled. Its rated capacity is 200,000 b/d oil, 180 mmcf/d gas
-Shell has shut in its Coulomb field, which ties back to the Na Kika platform.
- Destin Pipeline on Thursday said it was planning to re-man its MP 260 platform, pending weather conditions, on Friday. All receipt points, including the Okeanos Gas Gathering System, Marlin and Horn Mountain have been shut in due to the storm threat. Delivery points, including VKGS have also been shut in. Destin is majority-owned by BP with Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) a minority partner.
Reporting By Terry Wade and Liz Hampton; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Andrew Hay