An improvement has been made over the past month in oil and natural gas output
in the Gulf of Mexico, which was interrupted last year when hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged production platforms.
Just over 15 percent of the normal daily oil production
in the region is still blocked from market by platform shutdowns, compared with 21.6 percent on May 3, according to the Minerals Management Service
, which manages federal offshore leases.
At the same time, 11 percent of the normal daily production of natural gas was still blocked from market Monday, down from 13 percent last month, the MMS said.
Before the storms, the Gulf produced about 1.4 million barrels of oil and 10 billion cubic feet of gas daily.
Since Katrina first threatened the Gulf on Aug. 26, forcing the evacuation of production platforms, 162.4 million barrels of oil and 784.5 billion cubic feet of gas have been kept from market, the MMS said. Normally, the Gulf produces about 547.5 million barrels of oil and 3.65 trillion cubic feet of gas annually.
Interruption of the Gulf supply has played a role in recent high U.S. oil and gasoline prices.
The MMS said Katrina and Rita destroyed 113 production platforms in the Gulf and damaged 457 pipelines connecting production facilities and bringing oil and gas to shore.
Source: Business News