Hurricane-related shut-ins curb 82% of oil, 59% of natural gas output in U.S. Gulf of Mexico, regulator says

FILE PHOTO: A fuel pump is wrapped closed with plastic ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Laura in Beaumont, Texas

HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. energy companies on Saturday continued to restaff offshore oil and gas production facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Interior.

There were 122 facilities that were reoccupied as of midday, the data showed. Crude oil production was off 82%, or 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and natural gas production was down 59%, or 1.6 billion cubic feet per day. (

There were 189 platforms or drilling rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that remain unmanned on Saturday, the department said, down from 310 unoccupied facilities on Wednesday.

U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore wells account for 17% of total U.S. crude oil production and 5% of total U.S. natural gas production.

Hurricane Laura shut six coastal refineries this week accounting for about 12% of U.S. oil processing capacity. Those without significant damage have taken steps to restart operations.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Grant McCool)