According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, oil companies cut almost 91% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude oils production on Saturday, or roughly 1.65 Million barrels. This was as Hurricane Ida moves toward U.S. offshore oilfields.
A regulator estimated that 84.87% of natural-gas production in the Gulf of Mexico had been shut down.
Ida will become a Category 4 hurricane just before it makes landfall westward of New Orleans. On Saturday, Louisiana residents rushed to get ready for Ida's arrival. It could bring winds up to 140 mph (225 km/h) upon its landfall.
According to the offshore regulator, 279 production platforms were evacuated by oil and gas companies, which represents 49.82% of 560 manned platforms in Gulf of Mexico. They also shut down almost 91% of their usual offshore production as the storm approaches.
On Saturday, 11 drill vessels were also moved by the companies to a safe location.
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, the federal Gulf of Mexico oil production accounts 17% of the country’s crude oil production and 5% of its federal off-shore dry gas production.
Andrew Lipow, president and CEO of Lipow Oil Associates, Houston, stated Saturday that gas prices could rise by around 10 cents per gallon if New Orleans' refineries are directly affected by a Category 4 hurricane in the Southeastern or Mid-Atlantic markets.