MMS: Most damage from Hurricane Ike is on the shelf

Early reports indicate that most of the damage to oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Ike was to old platforms on the shelf off Louisiana, said Lars Herbst, MMS Gulf of Mexico regional director, in a teleconference today.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS -- Early reports indicate that most of the damage to oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Ike was to old platforms on the shelf off Louisiana, said Lars Herbst, MMS Gulf of Mexico regional director, in a teleconference today. The twenty-eight platforms destroyed by Ike are on the shelf between West Cameron and Grand Isle, Lars said. These platforms were installed in the 70's and 80's, he said.

Approximately 1,040 platforms and 12,200 pipelines experienced hurricane force conditions (greater than 75 mph winds and 40-50 ft wave heights). The early reports of platform damage were likely due to waves, and the pipeline damage was likely not caused by mudslides, he said. At least three gas transmission lines have been damaged.

MMS reported earlier today that three jackup rigs have been destroyed, one jackup has extensive damage, and two rigs were set a adrift and later secured by tugs. MMS also reported that the derrick on BP's Mad Dog platform has been damaged.

In the wake of Ike, Lars said the MMS is evaluating temporary barging of oil from damaged facilities, temporary flaring of natural gas, and re-routing of production through existing undamaged pipelines.

MMS stresses that it expects additional reports of damage as inspections continue, but for comparison, final damage reports from MMS indicated that Hurricane Katrina destroyed 44 platforms and Hurricane Rita destroyed 64 platforms.

9/16/2008

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