Evacuations continue from offshore platforms in south U.S. as Hurricane Harvey approaches

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-26 07:39:03|Editor: ying
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HOUSTON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico continued to evacuate on Friday from offshore platforms and rigs to clear a path for Hurricane Harvey, which was expected to make landfall along the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm.

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), personnel have been evacuated from a total of 86 production platforms as of noon Friday.

Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project's duration.

Personnel have been evacuated from four rigs, equivalent to 40 percent of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 21.6 percent of the current oil production of 1,750,000 barrels of oil per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

It is also estimated that approximately 23.2 percent of the natural gas production of 3,220 million cubic feet per day in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

Guan Linhua, director of Houston based Star Energy, told Xinhua that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico would be reduced due to the hurricane, but the effect on oil prices in international market should be limited.

More than 25 percent of U.S. gasoline is refined along the Texas Gulf Coast. More than 50 percent comes from the entire Gulf Coast region, including inland Texas and Louisiana, according to the U.S. Energy Department.