Oil supermajors Chevron and BP have evacuated personnel and shut in production at some of their platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Ian advances to the west coast of Florida, in the first shut-in of U.S. offshore oil and gas output this hurricane season.
U.S. supermajor Chevron said it had begun transporting all personnel from its Petronius and Blind Faith platforms and was shutting in the facilities. The two platforms have a combined output of around 105,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 90 million cubic feet per day of gas.
Production at the other Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets remains at normal levels, the company said.
“Both offshore and onshore, Chevron is following our storm plans and paying close attention to the forecast and track of Hurricane Ian,” Chevron said.
BP, for its part, said it had shut in production and evacuated all personnel from its 130,000-bpd Na Kika platform. The oil and gas major is also shutting in production and evacuating all essential personnel from the Thunder Horse platform, which has the capacity to pump 250,000 bpd of oil.
“Safety is our top priority and we will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps,” BP said.
Shell told Reuters its output hadn’t been impacted, but it was closely monitoring storm Ian’s path.
Late on Monday, the National Weather Service said that “Ian is expected to be a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of this week.”
“Regardless of Ian’s exact track, there is a risk of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast/Panhandle of Florida by mid-week,” the NWS added.
Early on Tuesday, the NWS said that Hurricane Ian continues to intensify. Hurricane warnings and storm surge warnings have been issued for parts of the west coast of Florida including Tampa Bay.
While the hurricane is not expected to hit refinery capacity along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, it could lead to the shut-in of more oil and gas production in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico later this week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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