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Oil Explorers Get Back to Work After Delta Rakes Louisiana

Joe Carroll and Sergio Chapa
·2 mins read

(Bloomberg) -- Oil explorers, tugboat operators and other U.S. Gulf Coast businesses got back to work on Saturday after the region was slammed by its second hurricane in six weeks.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas were without power almost 24 hours after Hurricane Delta roared ashore near the tiny coastal hamlet of Creole, Louisiana, late Friday.

Bristow Group Inc., which transports offshore crews to and from oil platforms and drilling ships by helicopter, had already returned 50 or 60 workers to various Gulf installations by early afternoon on Saturday. Separately, Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it was redeploying workers and drilling vessels across the region.

The biggest oil refinery in America had several key production units knocked out as Delta raged, according to people familiar with operations who asked not to be identified. A nearby refinery owned by French oil giant Total SE lost power during the height of the storm.

Here’s a list of other post-hurricane developments:

The Houston Ship Channel, one of North America’s busiest commercial waterways, reopened after Hurricane Delta made landfall in Louisiana.Brazos channel at Freeport, Texas, also reopened, as did facilities at Texas City and Galveston.Port Fourchon returned to normal operations.Ports at New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Plaquemines in Louisiana also reopened.Liquefied natural gas tankers that scattered to calmer seas ahead of the storm began resuming journeys to Gulf Coast export terminals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Chevron Corp. began sending workers back offshore and restoring shut-in oil and gas wells, according to a company statement.The company’s Louisiana terminals at Empire and Port Fourchon remained shut as of late Saturday afternoon.Almost 92% of oil production in the U.S. sector of the Gulf remained shut as of Saturday, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.More than 62% of offshore gas output was closed down as well.Colonial Pipeline Co.’s Line 1, which ships gasoline from Houston-area refiners to the eastern U.S., was shut down after a power outage in the storm zone, according to a notice from the company.Line 2, whh carries jet fuel and diesel, was still operating outside “the impacted areas,” the company said.

(Adds major gasoline pipeline shutdown in final bullet point.)

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