GULF OF MEXICO Bruce Beaubouef • Houston
Hurricane Harvey packs
a punch, but offshore
operations bounce back
Hurricane Harvey hit south and southeast
Texas in late August, and packed a wallop that
Gulf Coast residents will not soon forget. In
fact, for many, getting back to some sense of
normalcy remains elusive.
But for operators in the Gulf of Mexico,
the impact of the storm seems to have been
minimized by preparation and planning. On
Aug. 31, operators reported that their crews
were re-boarding platforms and rigs to assess
their ability to resume normal operations.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement reported that based on the data
from offshore operator reports, personnel
remain evacuated from 94 production plat-
forms on Aug. 31, which represents 12.75%
of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf. At
that time, personnel remained evacuated from
five non-dynamically positioned (DP) rigs. No
DP rigs moved off location.
Operators began to inspect their facilities
quickly in the wake of the storm. Once all
standard checks were completed, production
from undamaged facilities was expected to be
brought back online.
BSEE added that its inspectors also began
overflights of offshore facilities on Aug. 31 to
evaluate facilities and monitor for pollution.
At that point, no damage reports from oil and
gas operators had been received.
One bottleneck was presented by the clo-
sure of the CHOPS pipeline system, which
hampered efforts to fully resume production
levels in the western Gulf. This system carries
offshore crude from the outer continental
shelf in the Gulf to the Houston area, with
connector lines to Texas City and Beaumont.
As of early September, about 9% of oil pro-
duction and 13% of natural gas production
remained shut-in, according to the Bureau
of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
From Gulf of Mexico operator reports, BSEE
estimated that approximately 8.74% of the current oil production of 1,750,000 b/d in the Gulf
remains shut-in, which equates to 152,989 b/d.
BSEE also estimated that about 12.61% of the
natural gas production of 3,220 million cubic
feet per day, or 405.99 MMcf/d, remains shut-in.
BSEE added that no damage reports from
oil and gas operators have been received.
Based on the data from offshore operator
reports submitted on Sept. 1, personnel re-
main evacuated from 75 production platforms,
which represents 10.18% of the 737 manned
platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel
have returned to all five of the previously
evacuated non-DP rigs.
As offshore oil and gas operations return
to normal, the industry continues to provide
assistance for the onshore Hurricane Harvey
Hess Corp. has donated $1 million to the
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The company
said that it will match every donation employees make in the coming weeks to relief efforts
by the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, American Red Cross, and United Way of Houston.
Transocean says that it has contributed
$100,000 to the American Red Cross and
$100,000 to the Houston Food Bank. The
company says that it will also match donations
made to the relief efforts by its employees.
Statoil announced via social media that it
has donated $250,000 to the Red Cross.
Weatherford International plc says that is
has pledged $25,000 to Feeding Texas, the
Texas Food Bank Network, and $25,000 to
J.J. Watt’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
ExxonMobil says that it has increased its
financial commitment for Harvey relief to
up to $9.5 million, which includes a new employee and retiree donation match program
and in-kind donations to the American Red
Cross for recovery efforts in South Texas.
The increased suppor t builds on $1 million in
previous contributions to the American Red
Cross and United Way of Greater Houston.
LLOG progressing Buckskin
LLOG Exploration Co., L.L.C. has issued
an update on its Buckskin project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Located on Keathley Canyon blocks 785,
828, 829, 830, 871, and 872 in the Gulf of
Mexico in about 6,800 ft ( 2,073 m) of water,
this will be a 6-mi (10-km) subsea tieback to
the Anadarko-operated Lucius spar.
LLOG said that the Buckskin project will
use equipment rated to 15,000 psi and will
use dual 8-in. flowlines with riser base gas lift.
The company recently executed a new
contract with Seadrill for the West Neptune
drillship to perform the initial Buckskin work
which will include drilling and completing
two wells. The West Neptune will move on the
Buckskin location in 4Q 2017.
In addition, the company has ordered sever-
al long-lead items for the topsides and has or-
dered subsea equipment from TechnipFMC.
Scott Gutterman, LLOG’s president and CEO,
said that the company estimates that Buckskin
contains nearly 5 Bbbl of oil in place. First production is expected in the second half of 2019.
Affiliates of LLOG own a 31.3% working
interest in the project and LLOG Exploration
Offshore, L.L.C. has been named as opera-
tor. Repsol and Samson Offshore BSM, LLC
each own a 22.5% working interest, Beacon
Offshore Energy Buckskin LLC (an affiliate of
Beacon Offshore Energy LLC) owns an 18.7%
working interest, and Navitas Buckskin US,
LLC (an affiliate of Navitas Petroleum LP)
owns a 5% working interest.
The Keathley Canyon 872 #1 discovery well
at Buckskin was drilled by Repsol in 2009 to a
depth of 29,404 ft ( 8,962 m) and encountered
about 400 ft (122 m) of net pay in the Upper
and Lower Wilcox formations. Three sub-
sequent appraisal wells drilled in Keathley
Canyon blocks 785 and 829 encountered an
average of 375 ft (114 m) of high-quality oil
pay in the Upper Wilcox.
Total, Chevron team up
Total E&P USA Inc. has entered into an
agreement to capture seven prospects operated
by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in the deepwater Gulf
of Mexico. The agreement covers 16 blocks.
The associated prospects are located in two
promising plays and areas of the GoM: Wilcox
in the central GoM next to the Anchor discover y, and Norphlet in the eastern GoM near the
Appomattox discover y. Total’s participation in
these wells will be between 25% and 40%. The
first of these wells was spudded in late July on
the Ballymore prospect in Mississippi Canyon.
Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president Exploration & Production, said: “This agreement,
together with the recently announced participation in the Jack field as part of the Maersk
Oil acquisition, increases Total’s footprint in
the USA GoM where it can apply its exploration expertise and deepwater technologies. •
Hurricane Harvey inflicted severe impacts onshore, but the damage to offshore oil and gas facilities
seems to have been minimal, according to early reports.