Oil and Gas News

Oil and gas companies halt Gulf of Mexico operations as Hurricane Sally hits

Oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico have suspended their operations ahead of tropical storm Sally, which has been forecast to reach Louisiana as a hurricane.

According to Reuters’ report, BP, Equinor, Chevron, and Murphy Oil shut in production, while Shell suspended some drilling operations, but has not made changes to production.

Byron Energy has also suspended its drilling operations at the SM58 G2 well in the Gulf of Mexico due to the hurricane threat. 

Reuters reported that Chevron shut the Blind Faith and Petronius platforms and evacuated their workers on Sunday, with Shell beginning to shutdown some of its offshore drilling operations as well.

However, its offshore production was unchanged and all personnel remained on production platforms, Shell explained in a statement.

Murphy Oil shut its Delta House platform in the path of Sally, but BHP has stated it doesn’t plan to take workers from offshore facilities.

Equinor shut the Titan platform and evacuated all workers on Saturday, with BP also evacuated non-essential workers from its Na Kika and Thunderhorse platforms.

Byron Energy intends to halt its activities at the SM58 G2 well until the storm makes landfall. Although forecast not to pass over the SM58 block, the company has evacuated all its personnel given the uncertainty in the hurricane’s track. 

Workers at the Enterprise Offshore Drilling jack up rig have left, but the drilling rig has not been jacked down so operations can resume promptly once conditions improve.

Byron Energy has also not shut in the SM58 G1 well and will continue to produce unless oil and gas sales lines are closed due to the storm.

In addition, all four wells on the Byron-operated SM71 F platform were shut in over the weekend due to the closure of the oil sales line downstream of SM71 following Hurricane Sally.

Byron chief executive Maynard Smith said it had been an active hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the company having to shut down its drilling operations at SM58.

“But having just set our intermediate casing across the Upper O Sand, we are at a safe point in the well for this to occur. We do no anticipate the storm to directly pass over the SM58 or 71 platforms, but due to the uncertainty of forecast track and out of an abundance of caution we chose to stop work. Because the rig was not jacked down, we can resume work efficiently and drill the target section of the G2 well,” Smith said.

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