Photographer: Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By KEVIN McGILL / Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Energy companies have reoccupied nearly 400 of the production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that were abandoned in advance of Hurricane Isaac, though oil production remains almost entirely shut down.
Oil and gas workers began retaking the offshore sites Friday and federal officials on Saturday say that 377 of the 596 productions platforms have some staffing on them, up from just 97.
Yet officials estimate that 94 percent of oil production and about 65 percent of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut in in the aftermath of the hurricane.
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement say 19 of the Gulf's 76 drilling rigs are still evacuated, down from 48 as the storm approached.