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The Wall Street Journal: Status of Oil, Gas Production in Gulf: Posted Thursday 22 September 2005

September 21, 2005 6:25 p.m.

Oil companies Wednesday continued to pull workers out of the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Rita threatened the coastal production and refining assets spared by Katrina. Rita's predicted course brings it below, but within range, of much of the Gulf oil-producing region.

 The U.S. Minerals Management Service reported that 1.097 million barrels a day of oil, or 73.16% of the Gulf total, and 4.713 billion cubic feet a day of gas, or 47.13% of the Gulf total, are off line due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
 Petroleum Helicopters Inc., a transport-services company based in Lafayette, La., expects to have pulled in excess of 5,000 energy-company workers from the Gulf of Mexico by late Wednesday.
 Air Logistics, a helicopter-services company based in New Iberia, La., says it has moved as many as 3,000 workers out of the Gulf ahead of Rita.
 Ted Falgout, the director of Port Fourchon, a major port servicing the industry, said that most rigs and platforms in the Gulf are likely to be evacuated.
 The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is continuing normal operations, but may suspend its marine operations later if conditions deteriorate.
 Total E&P USA has evacuated its U.S. Gulf operations and shut in 218 million cubic feet a day of gas production.
 Chevron Corp. on Monday evacuated staff needed to keep oil and natural-gas production platforms running. The Chevron evacuations also affect production facilities previously owned by Unocal Corp., which Chevron bought in August.
 Murphy Oil Co. is evacuating all repair and production crews from its two operating Gulf platforms. It shut in its Frontrunner platform Tuesday that is responsible for 34,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent.
 Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it had evacuated 195 nonessential personnel Sunday and that another 350 nonessential personnel were set to leave its facilities Monday.
 Apache Corp. has evacuated more than 500 workers and expects to have evacuated its entire Gulf staff of 700 workers by Thursday. It has also begun to shut in some production.
 BP PLC is evacuating all offshore staff from its Gulf operations and has shut in "significant" amounts of offshore production.
 Marathon Oil Corp. has begun to evacuate staff from its three platforms in the South Pass area, the company said. Production from the platforms has been shut in since Hurricane Katrina, which did damage the facilities. It is also evacuating staff from its Ewing Bank platform, and will shut in production.
 Amerada Hess is evacuating all essential and nonessential staff from its platforms and is shutting in all of oil and gas production. Hess produces 51,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from the Gulf, of which 4,000 barrels a day have been shut in since Hurricane Katrina.
 Kerr-McGee Corp. is evacuating all remaining workers in the Gulf and will shut in 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in oil and gas production.
 Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is evacuating all workers from its 20,000 barrel-a-day Marco Polo oil and gas platform and is shutting in production.
 Exxon Mobil Corp. has evacuated about 425 employees from its Gulf platforms. It is shutting in 63,000 barrels of oil a day and 535 million cubic feet of gas a day because of Katrina and Rita.
 Dominion Resources Inc. unit Dominion E&P was evacuating essential staff Tuesday from its Main Pass, Ship Shoal and Devil's Tower facilities. Production in these facilities is still held back by Katrina-related problems with pipelines and onshore facilities. It may pull nonessentials from its central and western Gulf operations Wednesday.
 El Paso Corp. began Tuesday pulling nonessentials, then essential workers from its Gulf platforms in a phased east-to-west withdrawal ahead of Hurricane Rita. It said Wednesday that it is shutting in all Gulf operations.
 Devon Energy Corp. has evacuated 200 nonessential workers from its U.S. Gulf operations. So far output is unaffected, but the company will decide on Wednesday whether to pull out essential staff and suspend production.
 ConocoPhillips Inc. has begun evacuating personnel from three of its four Gulf platforms.
 Newfield Exploration Co. pulled 200 workers from its Gulf operations Tuesday, and will shut in all remaining operations and have them evacuated by late Wednesday. The company will have shut in 300 million cubic feet equivalent of gas and oil a day after the evacuations.
 Transocean, the largest drilling contractor in the region, said 515 people from its Gulf operations have been evacuated. Transocean operates 10 offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf, three of which are completely evacuated. A fourth is undergoing repairs related to Hurricane Katrina and is being moved away from the storm, while the remaining six are moving away using self-propelled systems.
 About 520 million cubic feet a day of natural gas is shut in by producers in the Gulf of Mexico on Williams Cos. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line ahead of Hurricane Rita, the company said Wednesday.

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