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Tropical Storm Zeta Prompts GOM Evacuations and Production Shut-Ins

Another potential hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is on a path toward Louisiana this week, leading oil and gas operators to evacuate offshore facilities and shut in production.

Tropical Storm Zeta hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Monday as a Category 1 hurricane before it weakened. Zeta is expected to hit Louisiana at or near hurricane strength on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) activated its hurricane response team in response to the severe weather.

Based on operator reports, BSEE said personnel was evacuated from 154 production platforms (24% of 643 manned GOM platforms) and three nondynamically positioned rigs (30% of 10). Nine dynamically positioned rigs (56% of 16) moved off location out of the storm’s projected path as a precaution.

Approximately 49% of current oil production and 55% of natural gas production in the region was shut in.

BP, Chevron, and Equinor are among the companies that evacuated platforms and shut production due to the storm.

Zeta is on track to be the second named storm to reach Louisiana in October, following Hurricane Delta earlier in the month, which also led to evacuations and production shut-ins. It would also be a record fifth named storm to reach the state in a single year.

 

Total

Percentage of GOM

Platforms
Evacuated

154

24

Rigs
Evacuated

3

30

DP Rigs Moved-off

9

56

 

Total shut-in

Percentage of GOM Production

Oil, BOPD
Shut-in

914,811

49

Gas,
MMCFD Shut-in

1500

55

 

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