GOM Oil Industry Starts Comeback

Thursday, September 08, 2005
Following a nearly complete shutdown of the oil and gas business in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, signs indicate a comeback is starting, slow but steady. According to a Reuters report, oil and gas operations recovered slowly on Wednesday, with oil companies struggling to contact all of their workers and assess damage to rigs.

Refinery progress was slow but steady. Three of eight refineries that Katrina completely shut have returned either full or partially, including Marathon Petroleum Co. LLC's large 245,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant in Garyville, Louisiana.

Offshore, oil and gas production has also been on the rise after Katrina shut nearly all output. Government figures as of Tuesday showed 58 percent of the Gulf's crude production and 41 percent of its gas production remained shut down.

The U.S. Coast Guard has said a total of 56 Gulf offshore platforms have been lost or damaged.

Reuters reported that natural gas production this year will drop by about 1.5 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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