Most Gulf production back after storm shutdowns

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Almost all of the Gulf of Mexico’s petroleum production was back on line Tuesday following a short-lived tropical depression that triggered platform evacuations last week.

The federal Minerals Management Service said Tuesday that all evacuations had ended from the Gulf’s 834 staffed production platforms along with the 89 drilling rigs currently operating in the region.

The agency estimated that, based on petroleum company reports, about 51,700 barrels of daily oil production — about 4 percent of the usual total — along with 194 million cubic feet of daily natural gas production, about 2.5 percent of the typical total.

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The depression, which developed in the Gulf of Mexico last week after bringing heavy rain to the South, dissolved late Friday. The platforms and rigs had been evacuated as a precaution.

At the height of the evacuations on Saturday, 100 production platforms and 14 drilling rigs had been evacuated and 58 percent of the normal daily oil production and 25 percent of the normal gas production had been interrupted.