HC and MMS: Remaining Shut-in Production NOT Likely to Be Rebuilt...

Thanks to Leanan on a good catch of this Houston Chronicle article, which states:
Much of the oil and natural gas production still shut-in after last year's hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico will stay offline because it would not be economical for companies to rebuild the production platforms, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman told Congress today.
Which reminded me, we hadn't linked to the MMS shut-in statistics in a while.  They are discussed in the Chronicle article, but here's a link to the MMS stats just for old time's sake.
So, how many category 5 hurricanes will it take to discourage any new drilling in the GOM? There are new deep gas projects further out in the deeper water under development right now.

There is no such thing as a platform that can withstand a category 5 hurricane.

This month's Popular Science has an article about Myths about Katrina and Rita.

Among their findings: Katrina was not a superstorm, and the levee walls were built properly.  

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the Atlantic is in a cycle of heightened hurricane activity due to higher sea-surface temperatures and other factors. The cycle could last 40 years, during which time the United States can expect to be hit by dozens of Katrina-size storms. Policymakers--and coastal residents--need to start seeing hurricanes as routine weather events, not once-in-a-lifetime anomalies.
Is that "uneconomical" like in totalled forever?  Or just for now?
I suppose it's possible that eventually, oil will be worth so much they'll go back.  The ones they aren't bothering to repair are the ones that were already near the end of their productive lives.  It's just not worth rebuilding the pipelines, platforms, etc., for the little that's left.
Since only 16,000 bpd improvement was recorded over the last full month, it is possible that decline rates in producing wells will start to overtake further production restoration before long.
The neat doublespeak twist here is that some bureaucrat can now declare the GOM production to be "100% recovered" since they've thrown 23% of the prior production overboard and thus what's left must be "all" (or 100%). The additional bureaucratic benefit is that they then get to add anything over 1.15 mbpd as "growth" (of some perverse sort) even if GOM never reaches 1.5 mbpd ever again.