The Urethane Blog

Friday Update

Most of US Gulf oil, natgas remains offline after Hurricane Ida

Author: Janet Miranda


HOUSTON (ICIS)–Most offshore oil and natural gas production in the US Gulf remains offline because of Hurricane Ida,  according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Friday.

The amount of oil and gas shut in has fallen slightly from Monday but remains high.

Key ports such as Port Fourchon in Louisiana were damaged. The port is a main site for offshore workers. Some estimates have indicated it could be at least a month before offshore production could be restored.

The following table shows the number of platforms and rigs evacuated, including the total amount of oil and natural gas that has been shut in.

Platforms evacuated13323.75
Rigs evacuated654.55
Oil shut in (bbl/day)1,698,55793.33
Gas shut in (bcf/day)1.99089.25

Source: BSEE

Over the last several days after the storm, US oil majors with assets in the Gulf have been conducting initial flyovers and safety assessments.

Shell observed damage to its West Delta-143 (WD-143) offshore facility, it said. It is currently working to assess the full extent of the damage and the impact it will have on its offshore production.

WD-143 is a transfer station for all production from its assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf to onshore crude terminals.

Its Perdido assets was never disrupted by the hurricane, and its storage and offloading vessel, the Turritella, is back online.

All of Shell’s other offshore assets remain shut in and remain fully evacuated at this time. Approximately 80% of Shell-operated production is currently offline.

A temporary crew-change heliport will be established in the next few days since its primary location in Houma sustained significant damage.

BP has conducted a visual assessment of its four Gulf of Mexico platforms and reported no major damage, the company said on Thursday.

It expects to provide a more comprehensive update of the platforms’ statuses in the coming days. Production will remain shut in until further confirmation that it is safe for operations to resume.

Its onshore assets at Houma and Port Fourchon experienced the brunt of the storm’s force, with damage to both facilities that will require repairs. BP will temporarily relocate its shore base and heliport to other locations.

BP’s midstream and downstream assets are in various stages of start-up and await facility inspections and power restoration.

Chevron has begun to deploy personnel to provide closer assessments of possible damage to any of its assets, the company said on Wednesday.

Fourchon terminal and Empire terminal and their related pipeline systems remain shut in, Chevron said.

The following shows the status of the chemical plants and refineries affected by Ida.

CompanySiteProductsStatusForce Majeure
AmStySt James, LouisianaStyreneShutdown
BASFGeismar, LouisianaBDO, EO, isocyanates, polyolsShutdown
CornerstoneWaggaman, LouisianaACN, melamineShutdownDeclares FM
Cos-MarCarville, LouisianaStyrene, ethylbenzeneShutdown
DAK AmericasBay St Louis, MississippiPETShutdownDeclares FM
DowPlaquemine, LouisianaEthylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, EO, glycol ethers, PE, PG, POExpected Restart
DowTaft, LouisianaEthylene, propylene, acetic acid, acrylic acid, acrylic acid esters, ethanolamines, EO, glycol ethers, LLDPE, oxo-alcoholsShutdown
Enterprise ProductsLouisiana, USPropylene, NGLsShutdown
ExxonMobilBaton Rouge, LouisianaEthylene, propylene, BD, benzene, toluene, IPA, PA, plasticizers, PE, PP, base oilsRestart
Formosa PlasticsBaton Rouge, LouisianaPVC, VCMShutdown
INEOS OxidePlaquemine, LouisianaEthanolaminesShutdownDeclares FM
Lion CopolymerGeismar, LouisianaEDPMRestart
Marathon PetroleumGaryville, LouisianaGasoline, refined productsShutdown
MethanexGeismar, LouisianaMethanolShutdown
NOVAGeismar, LouisianaEthylene, propyleneShutdownDeclares FM
OlinPlaquemine, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorineShutdown
OlinSt Gabriel, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorineShutdown
OxyChemConvent, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorineShutdownDeclares FM
OxyChemGeismar, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorine, EDCShutdownDeclares FM
OxyChemTaft, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorineShutdownDeclares FM
PBF EnergyChalmette, LouisianaBenzene, toluene, MX, propyleneShutdown
Phillips 66Belle Chasse, LouisianaBenzene, toluene, MX, propyleneShutdown
Pinnacle PolymersGaryville, LouisianaPPShutdownDeclares FM
RoehmFortier, LouisianaMethyl methacrylate (MMA)Shutdown
RubiconGeismar, LouisianaMDI, polyether polyols, aniline, nitrobenzeneShutdown
ShellGeismar, LouisianaEO, EG, glycol ethers, linear alcohols, linear olefinsCurtailment
ShellNorco, LouisianaEthylene, propylene, BDShutdown
ShintechAddis, LouisianaPVCShutdown
ShintechPlaquemine, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorine, EDC, PVC, VCM, ethyleneShutdown
Total EnergiesCarville, LouisianaPSShutdown
ValeroMeraux, LouisianaGasoline, refined products, propyleneShutdown
ValeroSt Charles, LouisianaGasoline, refined products, propyleneShutdown
WestlakeGeismar, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorine, EDCShutdownDeclares FM
WestlakePlaquemine, LouisianaCaustic soda, chlorine, EDC, PVC, VCMShutdownDeclares FM
YCI Methanol OneSt James, LouisianaMethanolShutdown

Regional power distributor Entergy has restored electrical service to 225,000 of the estimated 950,000 customers who lost service after Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Distribution system damage in Louisiana and Mississippi includes 14,527 poles, 17,454 spans of wire and 3,277 transformers damaged or destroyed.

Of the 224 affected transmission substations, 106 have returned to service as of Thursday afternoon, as well as 82 of 211 affected transmission lines.

More than 1,380 miles (2,220 km) of transmission lines remain out of service.

“For our industrial customers, restoration priority is to power critical community services such as fire, police, hospitals and water and communication services,” Entergy said. is showing just more than 850,000 customers without power in the state, which includes electrical service from other power distributors as well as Entergy.

Damage assessments are continuing at refineries and chemical plants in the region, but operations cannot restart until feedstock supply, power and other essential third-party utilities are restored.

While the impact will be much less severe than from winter storm Uri in mid-February, the power outages and flooding will constrain production for weeks.

Products most impacted include the chlor-alkali chain all the way through polyvinyl chloride (PVC), methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), styrene, linear alpha olefins (LAO), phthalic anhydride (PA) and butanediol (BDO).

Union Pacific (UP) has resumed operations from St James to New Orleans, although generators remain in place for signal and gate operations until commercial power is restored, the rail company said on Friday.

Interchange with Norfolk Southern resumed on Thursday evening, although no interchange operations are occurring during the city-mandated curfew from 2000-600 local time.

Interchange with all other carriers in New Orleans remains under embargo.

Due to flooding associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ida in the US northeast, Norfolk Southern has issued embargoes impacting intermodal shipments on their networks, UP said on Friday.

Norfolk Southern said on Friday it has resumed regular operations in New Orleans, but delays are expected to continue due to slow orders and signal issues.

Interchanges are open except for the interchange to Canadian National, which is still blocked.

Floodwaters in New Jersey and New York have receded overnight, but there are many locations that are still unavailable until debris is cleared and signal issues are repaired.

Customers with shipments in this area should expect delays of up to 48-72 hours.

CSX has also seen the impacts of the storm in the northeast, with disruptions in operations in portions Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Customers are advised to expect delays, it said on Thursday.

It is also continuing repair work on track and signals on the New Orleans and Mobile line.

BNSF has reopened nearly all of its main line between Lafayette, Louisiana, and New Orleans, the US railroad company said on Wednesday.

Just one location, 10 miles east of Raceland, remains out of service with downed power lines on the track, BNSF said.

Its rail yard in Lafayette is in full operations.

Interchanges in New Orleans with other carriers, including CSX and Canadian National, remain under embargo.

New Orleans Public Belt, another railroad company, said it has resumed operations with modified hours to connect with BNSF, Norfolk Southern and UP.

The port of New Orleans reopened on Wednesday afternoon and port conditions are set at normal, but restrictions remain for some terminal operations. Vessel movement and cargo operations are authorised with restrictions.

The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal remains closed.

Terminal operators continue restoration efforts to resume operations, which is dependent upon power restoration.

New Orleans Terminal and Ports America for containerised operations will remain closed until more information is known and dependent upon power restoration.

Empire, Coastal Cargo, Gulf Stream Marine and Ports America for breakbulk operations will be closed until more information is known and dependent upon power restoration.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is conducting repairs following Hurricane Ida, it said. It has paused oil deliveries.

The LOOP is the nation’s only deepwater oil port for supertankers.

The US Coast Guard has reopened the lower Mississippi river to nearly all vessel traffic, although some key areas remain closed as recovery operations continue.

Some chemicals shipped by barge on the Mississippi river are still likely to be delayed following damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

Coast Guard crews continue to work with port partners on the identification and mitigation of grounded and submerged vessels along the banks of the river.

Facility assessments and repairs are underway.

Additional reporting by Ruth Liao, Adam Yanelli, Al Greenwood

Thumbnail shows damage from Hurricane Ida. Image by Shutterstock