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Gulf Of Mexico Oil Drillers Evacuate As Another Storm Approaches

Oil producers in the western Gulf of Mexico are bracing for yet another storm this week as Tropical Storm Beta is moving toward west and northwest, threatening storm conditions along the south Texas coast later on Monday.

As early as on Saturday, Royal Dutch Shell said it had evacuated all personnel from the Perdido platform in the western Gulf of Mexico and had shut in production, as a precautionary measure ahead of Tropical Storm Beta, while all rigs in the area “are monitoring the weather and are securing operations.”

The National Hurricane Center warned in an advisory early on Monday that it had issued a Storm Surge Warning—meaning that there is a danger of life-threatening flooding, from rising water moving inland from the coastline during the next 36 hours.

Sabine Pass, Galveston Bay, and Corpus Christi Bay—where oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and infrastructure is located—could see water surging if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the National Hurricane Center said. Flash, urban, and river flooding is likely, the center noted. Related: What’s Next For Gold?

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards urged on Sunday “everyone to prepare for heavy rainfall and the threat of storm surge and flooding in certain regions of the state due to Tropical Storm Beta.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also urged Texans to remain vigilant and closely monitor weather conditions as Tropical Storm Beta is expected to impact parts of the Gulf Coast this week.

In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, oil operators had just started to return personnel to the platforms they had evacuated last week when Sally hit the area before making landfall in Louisiana.

As of Sunday, September 20, personnel have been evacuated from a total of 23 production platforms, or 3.58 percent of the 643 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which continued to monitor offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico as companies resume operations on platforms and rigs following Hurricane Sally. As of Sunday, 179,237 bpd of oil production, or 9.69 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, was shut in, BSEE said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.  More