09 September 2008 22:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Companies are once again evacuating personnel from their offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico - including the massive Independence Hub - as Hurricane Ike continues on Tuesday its approach towards the region.
The Independence Hub should shut down by Wednesday, according to Enterprise Products, one of the operators connected with the site. The hub has an estimated natural gas capacity of 1bn cubic feet (bcf)/day.
As of Tuesday at 11:30 hours Houston time (16:30 GMT), 77.5% of crude oil production and 64.8% of natural gas production in the Gulf was shut in, according to the Minerals Management Service (MMS).
During the same time on Monday, 79.4% of crude oil and 64.2% of natural gas production was shut in, the MMS said.
Shut ins could increase as Hurricane Ike makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is on track to make landfall by Saturday near Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
While Ike will not likely threaten much of the onshore petrochemical sites on the Gulf coast, it could disrupt offshore oil and natural gas production.
Shell said it could evacuate most - if not all - of its Gulf operations by Thursday. In addition, Shell will not resume production recovery until Ike has safely passed through, the company said.
Enterprise plans to evacuate personnel from its platforms in the eastern Gulf, the company said.
BP said it was shutting in production of the platforms it operates in the Gulf. BP plans to complete all of its evacuations by the end of the day.
(Additional reporting by Steven McGinn)
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