NEW ORLEANS -- The Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates that from Sept. 13-14, approximately 1,450 oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were exposed to hurricane conditions, winds greater than 74 mph.
Offshore Infrastructure Destroyed
Fifty-two offshore oil and gas production platforms, three jackup drilling rigs, and one platform drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico have been destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Initial estimates are that the 52 destroyed production platforms produced a total of 13,300 b/d of oil and 90 MMcf/d of gas. Currently, MMS has no information on whether any of the destroyed platforms will be rebuilt by any operator.
As of Sept. 23, 2008, MMS has received reports that indicate 29 platforms with extensive damage, which may take from three to six months to repair. Examples of damage that would be considered extensive could include underwater structural damage or major damage to pipelines carrying the oil or natural gas to shore.
Additional reports show that 33 platforms received moderate damage taking one to three months before production can be restored. Damage that would be considered moderate may include major topside damage to critical process equipment such as the platform's compressor or damaged risers or flex joints where pipelines connect to the platforms.
In respect to drilling rigs damaged, MMS has confirmed a report of one jackup drilling rig with extensive damage.
To date, MMS has received reports of six gas transmission pipeline systems with damage. Analysis of the impact that this damage may have on resuming production is underway. Operators have begun to test and inspect other pipeline systems to evaluate the full extent of any damage. Considering the large impacted area, this will take some time to complete the inspections.
Visual inspections of sheens/spills are being conducted as reports are received. There was one report of a release totaling 200 bbl of oil during the hurricane event. Upon investigation, no sheen was observed. It is expected that the oil dissipated through the course of the hurricane. MMS will compile and release sheen reports upon completion of the reporting and confirmation process. There have been no reports of oil impacting the shoreline or affecting birds and wildlife from releases in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters.