Hurricane Ida crashed into the Louisiana coastline on Sunday afternoon as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon forcing several refineries, including the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately-owned crude terminal in the US, to shut down.
The LOOP services around 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater oil production. According to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), close to 96% of current oil production and 94% of gas production in the Gulf have been shut in.
BSEE said personnel from 288 offshore platforms, or around 51% of the 560 manned platforms in the US Gulf, have been evacuated. Crews had also been evacuated from all 11 non-dynamically positioned rigs, while 10 of the 15 dynamically positioned rigs had been moved out of the storm’s projected path.
Offshore driller Noble Corporation has reported that its drillships operating in the US Gulf of Mexico are safe. All personnel onboard the Pacific Sharav, Noble Globetrotter I, and Noble Globetrotter II ultra-deepwater drillships are safe and accounted for, it said.
“After the storm has passed, facilities will be inspected. Once all standard checks have been completed, production from undamaged facilities will be brought back online immediately. Facilities sustaining damage may take longer to bring back online,” BSEE said.
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 17% of total US crude oil production and 5% of total US natural gas production. The LOOP handles around 10% to 15% of the US domestic oil, and also a similar percentage of imports. Other ports in Louisiana, including Houma and the Port of New Orleans, were also closed on Sunday. In Mississippi, the ports in Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway were closed.