Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hurricane update: Ida dissipates, energy production in GoMex returns to normal

Hurricane Ida, its winds deteriorated to 40 mph as it came ashore near Mobile, Ala., on the morning of Nov. 10, was downgraded to Tropical Depression Ida.
The National Hurricane Center further reduced it to “extratropical” status as its remnants crossed Florida, Alabama and Georgia later on Nov. 10.
The storm prompted U.S. energy companies to close down 43.1 percent of oil output and 28.0 percent of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Employees from eight drilling rigs and 126 production platforms were evacuated as the storm passes through the area, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said.
Energy sources predicted that oil industry operations that had been shut down ahead of the storm would return to normal by the end of Nov. 10 or early
On Nov. 11.
The Gulf is the source of 25 percent of U.S. domestically produced oil and 15 percent of natural gas. About 40 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located on the Gulf Coast.
Oil refineries will not likely need to request crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as they prepare for the potential effects of Tropical Storm Ida on the country's stockpile, the Energy Department said. Refineries were "holding above average stock levels, and refinery utilization is average or less than average," the agency said. The department is capable of supplying crude but said it thinks that it will not be necessary.
Chevron Corp. said on Nov. 10 that it was assessing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico affected by Tropical Storm Ida and returning workers to offshore platforms. The company will continue "safe remobilization efforts throughout the week," Chevron said in a news release.

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