Oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico shut in much of their production in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Ida, resulting in a 91% drop in crude oil production and an 84.87% drop in the production of natural gas, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Around half of the offshore production facilities – some 279 platforms – were evacuated as a precaution, and 11 drill vessels were moved to locations out of the hurricane’s path.
Hurricanes and storms are a common phenomenon in the Gulf of Mexico region, and following Ida’s passing, oil companies were assessing the impact and looking to restore production. Royal Dutch Shell, which also make products like commercial vehicle oil, said last Sunday that it was already trying to restore some production at one of its seven platforms.
There was also some disruption on land, as six refineries with a combined capacity to process almost two million barrels per day of crude oil were forced to either suspend some activities or close entirely. The US’ biggest privately owned import and export terminal for crude oil, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, was also closed due to its proximity to where the storm made landfall. Several other ports in the region also closed.
Despite the temporary cut to production, oil prices remained stable in the wake of the storm, although gasoline prices in the US are expected to rise slightly by five to ten cents per gallon due to the disruption to the refineries and distribution network.