Europe's largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to step up production at its facilities in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ike.
Gross production at Shell-operated facilities stands at about 32,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day after 1,210 personnel were returned to offshore facilities.
'Production ramp-up at remaining facilities will vary, depending on repairs and downstream oil and gas infrastructure readiness,' Shell says. Production increased slightly over the weekend of 20 September.
Hurricane Ike, the most recent storm to strike through the US Gulf, made landfall in Texas on 13 September, cutting off power and damaging some refineries. Hurricane Ike came less than two weeks after Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Louisiana. The storms flooded parts of the region, stalling oil production and forcing the evacuation of platforms offshore and installations onshore.
US energy producers resumed output for about 23% of oil and 34% of natural-gas production in the Gulf of Mexico after the storms, the Minerals Management Service states.
Energy companies reported that 7 rigs and 225 production platforms remain evacuated after this month's storms, Approximately 1 million barrels of daily oil production remains shut-in.
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 26% of US oil production and 14% of natural-gas output. The Gulf produces 1.3 million barrels of oil and an estimated 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas a day.
Shell's normal average net production in the Gulf of Mexico is 370,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day and the company holds an interest in more than 459 offshore leases. Production in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for more than 80% of the company's overall US production.