Shell oil rigs affected by Hurricane Ida may restart soon

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Royal Dutch Shell hopes to restart its Ursa oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico as early as the first half of November, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is not public.

The Ursa offshore platforms, which produces 100,000 barrels per day, and Mars, which produces 60,000 barrels, have been closed since Hurricane Ida disrupted the US oil industry in late August. Shell had said their restarts were awaiting completion of repairs to a transfer facility known as West Delta 143, or WD-143.

Shell expects the WD-143 installation to restart in the first half of November as well, the company said in a statement on October 22. Once the facility is operational, the Mars pipeline is expected to resume normal operations as producers ramp up production, the statement said.

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The platforms are critical to the production of US sour crude that competes with supplies from OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq and is used by refineries on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Ida had an unprecedented impact on the oil industry, causing the loss of 30 million barrels of offshore production.

Shell last month estimated that both production platforms would be offline until the first quarter of 2022. Earlier this month, the company restored service to the Olympus field after repairing part of that facility. .

Prior to Ida, the Mars pipeline, which receives sour crude from various production fields and marketed as Mars Blend, carried more than 480,000 barrels of supply per day, according to the latest data available from the State of Louisiana for the month of July.

Mars Blend was valued at $ 2.40 a barrel below Nymex oil futures on the morning of October 22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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