Almost a third of U.S. gulf oil production still down after Ida

Oil drillers in the Gulf of Mexico are struggling to restore output more than two weeks after Hurricane Ida made landfall on the coast of Louisiana, with almost a third of production still idled.  

Operators have 36 platforms out of 560 shut, resulting in a loss of production of about half a million barrels of oil on Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. That’s more than what OPEC founding member Venezuela produces in a day. Overall output loss has risen to 27.3 million barrels since the storm hit, making Ida the most damaging to oil production in 13 years.

The shortfall creates an additional headache for refiners that need the supplies to make heating oil ahead of the cooler months and diesel to meet demand from farmers getting set to harvest crops. Fuel producers are tapping inventories, sending nationwide stocks to the lowest levels since September 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. They are also looking for replacement barrels overseas.  

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