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U.S. offshore oil production losses felt around the globe

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September 9, 2021

By Sabrina Valle and Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Two weeks of U.S. offshore production losses spiraled on Thursday, with contract cancellations as prolonged outages due to damages from Hurricane Ida were felt around the globe.

Three-quarters of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production remained offline, according to government data, as repair efforts dragged on. Power outages at onshore processing and pipeline facilities have prevented some oil production from reaching shore, which has supported oil prices since last week.

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Restarts are “at least more than a week away”, said Nishant Bhushan, oil markets analyst with Rystad Energy consultancy.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico, on Thursday declared force majeure on oil deliveries to Asia due to damage from Hurricane Ida. It said 80% of its Gulf production remained offline.

More than 20 million barrels of U.S. Gulf production has been lost to the market. Some 1.39 million barrels per day of crude production and over 1.72 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas output were shut-in on Thursday, according to offshore regulator Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

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A total of 71 platforms of the 288 evacuated ahead of the August storm remain unoccupied.

Damage assessments continue at Shell’s West Delta-143 (WD-143) offshore facility, which serves as the transfer station for all production from the Mars corridor to onshore crude terminals. The hub connects to shore via large pipelines.

“The pipeline should be intact, but now with reduced throughput,” Rystad analyst Colin White said.

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Murphy Oil and Occidental Petroleum said “third party” operations are preventing them from fully restoring production.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has revised down U.S. oil production forecast by 100,000 bpd to 11.7 million bpd.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle;Editing by Chris Reese, Aurora Ellis and Dan Grebler)

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