Royal Dutch Shell said that it has temporarily stopped production at the Perdido facility in the US Gulf of Mexico due to a leak in ExxonMobil’s Hoover Offshore Oil Pipeline System (HOOPS pipeline).

Production from the oil and gas hub located in an isolated, ultra-deep sector of the Gulf of Mexico, was stopped due to a subsurface leak in the ExxonMobil-operated pipeline.

HOOPS pipeline carries oil produced from various fields

Apart from the Perdido production hub, the HOOPS pipeline has been offering transportation for crude oil produced at various fields in the Gulf of Mexico to the Quintana Terminal, located just south of Freeport in Texas.

The pipeline system started operations by delivering oil from the Diana, South Diana, Hoover, and Madison fields.

The 246km long HOOPS pipeline, which begins from the Hoover Deep-Draft Caisson Vessel (DDCV), has now been closed to undertake repairs, reported Reuters.

The pipeline leak has also halted production at ExxonMobil’s Hoover platform.

According to ExxonMobil’s spokesman Todd Spitler, the company informed government agencies and shippers apart from responding to an onshore release of crude oil at a facility located in Freeport, Texas. The spokesman said that ExxonMobil expects to resume crude oil flow from the pipeline in a timely manner after it is found to be safe to do so.

However, the company did not reveal the reason behind the leak in the HOOPS pipeline and how much production was impacted due to it.

A spokesperson of Shell has been quoted by The Sun to have said: “Without access to that pipeline system, and with no other alternatives in the available supply chain system, Perdido has been forced to ramp down.

“HOOPS has been shut in by its operator, Exxon Mobil. We are closely monitoring the response of this event.

“Shell’s priority is the safety and health of our people and the safe operations of all our businesses, and the communities in which we live and work.”

The Perdido oil and gas hub produces from the Great White, Tobago, and Silvertip fields. First oil from the deepwater project was drawn in 2010.

Shell is the operator of the host platform of the project with 35% stake and is partnered by Chevron (37.5%), and BP (27.5%).