Energy firms prepare to resume U.S. Gulf of Mexico output after storm passes
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Energy companies on Monday began preparations to resume oil and gas production in the U.S.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Energy companies on Monday began preparations to resume oil and gas production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a day after Tropical Storm Cristobal blew through with high winds and heavy rains.
Producers had evacuated 188 offshore facilities and shut in wells producing 635,000 barrels per day of oil and 878 million cubic feet per day of natural gas at U.S. Gulf of Mexico wells as of Sunday.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it plans on Monday and Tuesday to restart drilling and redeploy some workers who were evacuated from offshore facilities.
Energy companies typically inspect platforms after a storm passes and return evacuated workers once it is safe to do so.
"There were no impacts to our production as a result of TS Cristobal, and we expect to resume our drilling operations as conditions continue to improve today and tomorrow," Shell said.
Cristobal has weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall in Louisiana on Sunday with 50 mile per hour (80 kph)winds. It led producers to shut 34% of oil and 32% of gas output in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore regulator Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said. The region provides about 1.93 million bpd of oil.
Exxon Mobil Copr, Shell and PBF Energy Inc kept their oil refineries in Louisiana in operation as Cristobal hit over the weekend, people familiar with operations said. PBF declined to comment. Exxon and Shell were not immediately available to comment.
Exxon's 502,500 bpd Baton Rouge, PBF's 190,000 bpd Chalmette and Shell's 225,300 bpd Norco, Louisiana, refineries were operating normally on Monday, the sources said.
The storm was 15 miles (30 km) east of Monroe, Louisiana, at 10 a.m. on Monday and dropping up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) of rain on central and eastern Gulf Coast areas. It should move through Arkansas and Missouri on Monday and Tuesday, U.S. National Hurricane Center forecasters said.
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru and Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Dan Grebler and Marguerita Choy)
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