Shell, Exxon, and Anadarko are reducing production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a storm that the U.S. National Hurricane Center said yesterday will affect most of the Texas coast. The NHC expects Tropical Depression Harvey to intensify as it nears the land.
Shell, according to Reuters, is moving all personnel working on the Perdido platform, which pumps 100,000 bpd, as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm.
Anadarko has shut down production at four platforms—Boomvang, Gunnison, Lucius, and Nansen—and is now evacuating personnel. Three of the four platforms are near the Texas shore. Lucius is in deeper waters but will likely be in the path of the storm as it moves closer to land. The company operates 10 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Output in the second quarter of this year averaged 140,000 bpd of oil equivalent.
Exxon is currently cutting production at the Hoover platform, a spokeswoman for the company said, adding that the company was also preparing an evacuation plan for the personnel on platforms that the storm may hit.
About 17 percent of U.S. crude oil output comes from the Gulf of Mexico, or 1.661 million bpd as of May, according to the Energy Information Administration. Anticipation of the storm kept Brent and WTI prices stable in European trade today, after the futures on both benchmarks added 1 percent yesterday on the news about Harvey, Reuters reported.
Harvey is expected to hit the Texas coast tomorrow, late in the day and Texas is preparing for the event, with Governor Greg Abbott declaring a state of disaster for 30 counties as meteorologists expect heavy rains and possibly strong winds and flooding if Harvey develops into a Category 1 hurricane. This would be the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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