Chevron temporarily shut in production June 18 from two offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms and evacuated some staff, ahead of a weather system that was expected to strengthen into a tropical storm and make landfall in southeast Louisiana.
Other producers in the Gulf, including BP, Shell and W&T Offshore, said they were monitoring the track of Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, but as of early afternoon had not yet evacuated any staff from platforms or shut in any offshore output. Later in the day, Shell said no crew-change flights were scheduled out of Houma and marine operations would remain limited in areas affected by the storm and elevated seas.W&T Offshore also had not yet shut in any of its pipelines that flow operated production, spokesman Al Petrie said in an e-mail responding to questions.
”We can’t address what other operators are doing where we may be partners,” he said.
With the storm tracking well east of gas liquefaction facilities in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas, producers there did not expect any impacts to export operations. Officials at Cheniere Energy, the biggest US LNG exporter with facilities at Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi in Texas, and Freeport LNG, which operates a liquefaction facility south of Houston, said they would continue to monitor the storm.
In Chevron’s case, it wasn’t taking any chances.
In preparation for the tropical weather, the company transported all non-essential personnel from the Big Foot, Jack/ St. Malo and Tahiti platforms. All personnel from its Genesis facility were also moved onshore, spokesman Tyler Kruzich said in an email responding to questions.
While production was temporarily shut-in at the Jack/ St. Malo and Tahiti platforms, output at other Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets remained at normal levels, Kruzich said. Production at Jack/ St. Malo and Tahiti was expected to return to full levels over the weekend, Kruzich said.
”We will continue to closely monitor the storm and we remain focused on the safety of our workforce, the integrity of our facilities, the protection of the environment, and the ability to supply our customers,” he said.
The Jack/St. Malo fields, at water depths of approximately 7,000 feet, reported total liquids production of 57,000 b/d and total natural gas production of 9 MMcf/d in 2020, according to Chevron. At Tahiti, in which Chevron has a 58%-owned and operated interest, net daily production in 2020 averaged 39,000 b/d of crude oil, 17 MMcf/d of natural gas and 2,000 b/d of NGLs.
Louisiana refiners in the path of the storm were also monitoring the situation.
”Phillips 66 is closely monitoring Potential Tropical Cyclone Three in the Gulf of Mexico,” said spokesperson Allison Stowe. “Based on the storm’s projected path, our Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, has activated its storm preparedness plan and remains focused on maintaining safe and reliable operations. There’s no impact to operations at this time.”