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GOM Shut-Ins Lessen in Wake of Tropical Storm Cindy

What had been Tropical Storm Cindy Wednesday made landfall and weakened Thursday, downgraded to a tropical depression, and oil and natural gas operators that had taken precautionary measures in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) prior to the storm were returning to work in its wake.

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted through 11:30 CDT Thursday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said personnel remained evacuated from a total of 39 production platforms -- 5.3% of the 737 manned platforms in the GOM and one fewer than Wednesday -- and from one rig, the same as Wednesday. No rigs were moved off location out of the storm's path, BSEE said.

An estimated 16.47% (288,186 b/d) of GOM oil production remained shut-in Thursday, down from 17.24% (301,618) on Wednesday. Only a fraction of GOM natural gas (440 MMcf/d) was shut-in, BSEE said.

Due to a loss of remote platform communications at at Main Pass (MP) 260 platform, Destin Pipeline declared a force majeure effective Tuesday (June 20), and it remained unable to provide gas transportation service from all of its offshore receipt points, the company said Thursday morning. Destin owner American Midstream Partners was reviewing options for the possibility to travel to MP 260 as early as Thursday, the company said.

Cindy made landfall early Thursday morning near the Texas-Louisiana border. By mid-morning its maximum sustained winds had weakened to 35 mph and tropical storm warnings and watches were discontinued. However, the storm continued to dump heavy rains as it moved further north, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Depression Cindy or its rainy remnants were expected to move into southeastern Arkansas early Friday and into Tennessee later the same day. 

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