For the first time since hurricanes Gustav and Ike swept through the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Monday reported that natural gas and oil production restoration passed the halfway mark.

From operator reports of 49 companies MMS estimated that approximately 47.4% of 7.4 Bcf/d of GOM gas production is shut in. Also, approximately 48% of GOM oil production of 1.3 million b/d is shut in. Last Friday MMS reported that 52.8% of gas production was shut in as was 57.4% of oil production (see Daily GPI, Sept. 29).

MMS recalculated the number of manned platforms in the GOM to 694 since 23 have been confirmed destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Based on data from offshore operators submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT Monday, personnel are evacuated from 111 production platforms, equivalent to 16% of the 694 manned platforms. The agency also recalculated the number of drilling rigs operating in the GOM to allow for those that were destroyed or severely damaged due to Ike. The recalculated figure is 116 rigs. Personnel from one rig are evacuated, which is equivalent to 0.9% of the 116.

As for pipelines, as of 9:30 a.m. CDT Monday seven major gas pipelines in the Gulf Coast area continued to report complete shut-in of their systems, according to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) situation report issued at 11 a.m. CDT Monday. “Four of the seven pipelines have notified their customers that the pipeline is ready to return to service; however, due to continued assessments of damage to interconnecting facilities and/or lack of upstream gas flow, these pipelines remain shut in,” DOE said. “The other three pipelines have reported that the repairs to the damaged facilities are ongoing and the integrity of the line is being verified.”

According to notices posted by pipeline companies and summarized by DOE on Monday:

Also as of 11 a.m. CDT Monday the DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed that six of the 39 major gas processing plants that were in the path of Hurricane Ike remained shut down. This includes plants that are still impacted from Gustav. The plants that are shut down represent 3.38 Bcf/d of capacity, which is 19% of the capacity of the processing plants that were in Ike’s path. EIA also reported that 27 plants have resumed operations at reduced or normal levels with a total operating capacity of 10.42 Bcf/d. Five plants — representing capacity of 3.66 Bcf/d — have reported that they are capable of restarting once electric power is restored and/or upstream gas flows are sufficient, EIA said.

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