Shell, Noble report initial damage from Hurricane Ida

Sept. 3, 2021
The West Delta-143 facilities and ultra-deepwater drillship Noble Globetrotter II impacted.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Shell Offshore Inc. has reported damage to its West Delta-143 facilities in the Gulf of Mexico following an initial flyover of its assets in the path of Hurricane Ida.

When it is safe to do so, the company will send personnel offshore to provide a closer inspection of these facilities to understand the full extent of the damage and the degree to which production in the Gulf of Mexico will likely be impacted.

The WD-143 facilities serve as the transfer station for all production from its assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area to onshore crude terminals. The Shell Pipeline Co. L.P.-operated WD-143 platform is owned by Shell Offshore Inc. (71.5%) and bp (28.5%).

The Mars corridor consists of the Shell-operated Mars, Olympus, and Ursa TLPs, which the company has confirmed are intact and on location.

Shell’s Perdido spar platform in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico was never disrupted by the hurricane. On Monday, the company brought the FPSO Turritella back online.

All of the company’s other offshore assets remain shut in and fully evacuated. During the initial flyover, the company said it did not observe any visible structural damage to these assets.

About 80% of Shell-operated production in the Gulf of Mexico remains offline, the company said.

Noble Corp. has reported that several riser joints and the lower marine riser package separated from the ultra-deepwater drillship Noble Globetrotter II during the storm and sank to the seabed. Efforts are under way to locate and recover that equipment. 

Additionally, one of the ship’s cofferdams in the moonpool area sustained damage, but it does not compromise the stability or structural integrity of the rig nor the safety of personnel onboard. The drillship successfully secured the well and detached from the BOP in place as part of its departure procedures.

The drilling contractor said it is working to facilitate more transport for some crew members to shore. “A small number of crew members were treated for minor injuries,” Noble said.

Also, the drilling contractor has provided a force majeure notice to Shell.

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), personnel remain evacuated from 177 production platforms and six rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Four DP rigs remain off location.

From 25 operator reports, BSEE estimates that about 93.55% of the current oil and 91.29% of the gas production in the US Gulf remain shut-in.