HOUSTON (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Gordon has shut 9.23 percent of daily crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Tuesday.
The storm, forecast to come ashore late Tuesday or early Wednesday in Mississippi as a hurricane, has also shut 9.06 percent of daily natural gas output from the northern Gulf of Mexico, BSEE said.
A total of 54 production platforms, or 7.86 percent, in the Gulf had been evacuated ahead of Gordon by midday on Tuesday, BSEE said.
One drilling rig has been moved from the storm’s path in the eastern and central Gulf, the agency said.
Producers have shut in 156,907 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production and 232 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of natural gas output, according to BSEE.
Offshore production in the Gulf accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas production from Gulf offshore operations provides 5 percent of the U.S. total.
Over 45 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast, along with 51 percent of the nation’s natural gas processing plant capacity, the EIA said.
Production platforms are permanently attached to the sea floor and cannot be moved. Rigs, used for exploration, can be towed to drill at different sites.
Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Dan Grebler and Cynthia Osterman