Hurricane Ivan took a bite out of Denver-based Forest Oil Corp., destroying one of Forest's oil and natural-gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forest's facility was one of seven gulf platforms sunk or destroyed last week by the hurricane.
The damage sent already high oil prices soaring over the past week.
On Thursday, the White House said it may lend refiners oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make up for hurricane-related losses.
"Ivan has caused the worst damage we have seen in watching these storms, causing damaged platforms and fractured pipelines," Wachovia Securities said in a research report Thursday.
Forest's platform was located in 79 feet of water about 50 miles south of Pascagoula, Miss., according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore energy production.
Forest officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Other energy firms that lost platforms include Royal Dutch/Shell Group, El Paso Corp., Noble Energy Inc. and Taylor Energy Co.
"The lost production was significant for a short period of time, but we're looking at a pretty quick recovery," said Mark Stultz of the Natural Gas Supply Association. "We don't believe the loss will significantly affect inventory or the buildup of supplies for winter demand."
The seven lost platforms accounted for production of 3,100 barrels of oil per day, less than 1 percent of total gulf output.
The platforms' natural-gas production is 9 million cubic feet per day, a small fraction of 1 percent of all gulf production.
About 4,000 platforms operate on the Gulf of Mexico. They can range from relatively small braced caissons such as Forest's platform to massive structures with legs hundreds of feet long and decks encompassing acres.
Source: Denver Post