An offshore natural gas pipeline that serves four major U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platforms remained out of commission on Aug. 31, pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. said, following Hurricane Laura's destructive path through the area.
Enbridge Restores Offshore Pipelines after Hurricane Shutdown (Posted Sept. 2, 2020)
Energy companies continued to inspect and restart offshore operations while damage assessments onshore were hampered by power outages. In Lake Charles, Louisiana, near where the storm made landfall, Citgo Petroleum and Phillips 66 said reviews to onshore oil refineries could take days.
Enbridge declared force majeure on the Garden Banks and Nautilus natural gas lines after inspecting facilities over the weekend. Nautilus resumed operations on Aug. 30. The Garden Banks pipeline, a 1 Bcf/d natural gas line, was shut due to a communications problem, the company said.
Garden Banks Pipeline connects the Auger, Baldpate, Enchilada, and Magnolia offshore production platforms to onshore lines. Enbridge expects to have an operating update later on Monday, a spokesman said.
U.S. Gulf Coast offshore producers on Aug. 30 reported 50%, or 1.35 Bcf, of natural gas output was offline due to the storm. The region's wells account for 17% of total U.S. crude oil production and 5% of total U.S. natural gas production.
Separately, Motiva Enterprises, which operates the single largest U.S. oil refinery, a 607,000 bbl/d facility in Port Arthur, Texas, early plans early this week to bring production online at units halted ahead of the storm, people familiar with the matter said.
Sempra Energy said on Sept. 18 it expects the Cameron LNG export plant in Louisiana to return to full service in six weeks after lingering power outages from Hurricane Laura have kept it shut since late August.
Cargo ships in the Gulf of Mexico indicate that exports may resume shortly.
Other reserve sites will return oil to companies.