By Dow Jones Business News, October 07, 2013, 02:57:00 PM EDT
By Ben Lefebvre
More than a third of oil and gas production remains bottled up in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as energy companies return
workers to offshore platforms after a weekend tropical storm, government regulators said.
Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other oil and gas producers removed many employees from Gulf installations
late last week ahead of Tropical Storm Karen, which cut a swath through the central Gulf waters with winds ranging up to
60 miles per hour.
The storm has since completely dissipated after stalling out about 85 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi
River, according to the National Hurricane Center. Companies are expected to quickly restore most production.
"Minimal production shut-ins are being restored today," Shell said. "We expect to conclude redeployment activities
Despite better weather, 138 production platforms remain offline in the Gulf -- about a quarter of the overall number
but less than half than had been shut in as of Sunday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement. Normally, these shut-in installations would produce about 491,000 barrels of oil a day, or 35% of the
region's total, and 1.397 billion cubic feet of gas a day, or 37% of the normal rate, regulators said.
Oil companies pumped about 1.22 million barrels of crude oil per day from the Gulf in July, which is roughly 16% of
the nation's total output. Surging production from onshore shale formations has made the Gulf less important to overall
U.S. oil production. Last year roughly 19% of U.S. crude came from the Gulf of Mexico.
Write to Ben Lefebvre at Benjamin.Lefebvre@wsj.com
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