Offshore operators ceased operations and evacuated platforms and rigs in the eastern Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida early on Sept. 28.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the storm hit Florida just south of Punta Gorda as a Category 4 at approximately 4:00 p.m. EDT on Sept. 28.

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 157,706 bbl/d, or 9.1% of all oil production in the Gulf, and 128 MMcf/d, or 6% of gas production, has been shut-in.

BSEE Hurricane Ian activity report

The shut-in process, which is mandatory during evacuations for facilities likely to be in a hurricane’s path, closes safety valves below the ocean floor and halts production to protect the environment around the wells. 

11 of the 521 manned production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Ian’s passage through the region. 

Of the rigs currently in the Gulf, five of the 14 non-DP rigs were evacuated and three of DP rigs were moved out of the storm’s path and to a safe location. They will resume work once the storm has passed.

After storm conditions subside, each shut-in facility and facility in the path of the storm will be inspected with the expectation that undamaged facilities will immediately come back online and damaged facilities to be brought back online at a later date, according to BSEE.