US offshore oil production to restart after pipeline repairs

NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) – A damaged component of an oil pipeline that disrupted production at several U.S. offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico was repaired on Friday night, a Louisiana official said, producers s preparing to reactivate part of the interrupted production.

A failed flange connecting two onshore pipelines operated by Shell Plc (SHEL.L) in Louisiana leaked about two barrels of oil. The oil, which spilled on a gravel-covered area, was removed, said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Greater Lafourche Harbor Commission, and the bridle was repaired Friday night, he said.

The spill halted operations at two pipelines that carry oil from multiple production facilities off the Louisiana coast, slashing output from Shell, Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and Equinor (EQNR.OL), according to two people familiar with offshore operations.

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On Friday evening, the Amberjack and Mars pipelines that were shut down by the leak were returned to service and resumed normal service, after crews completed repairs at the Fourchon booster station, the spokeswoman said. Shell, Cindy Babski.

Shell is also ramping up production at its three platforms that supply sour crude from Mars, a grade of oil popular with refiners in the United States and Asia, Babski added.

Chevron, which had three production facilities shut down by the leak, said it was ramping up production at its Jack/St. Malo, Tahiti and Big Foot platforms. Equinor’s Titan platform was also disrupted.

March crude oil prices had initially strengthened to a discount of around 50 cents against U.S. crude oil futures on news of the leak on Thursday, but eased to trade at a point. median of a $1.40 rebate on Friday, with the outage appearing to be short-lived.

Crude oil futures fell about 2%, also on expectations that supply disruptions caused by pipeline outages would be short-lived.

International benchmark Brent crude futures fell $1.45, or 1.5%, to $98.15 a barrel, while U.S. crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed lower. down $2.25, or 2.4%, to $92.09 a barrel. [O/R]

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Additional reporting by Stephanie Kelly and Shivam Patel; Editing by Mark Porter, Mike Harrison, Barbara Lewis, Richard Chang and Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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