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The largest refiners in India, as well as offshore oil producers and port operators, are preparing for Cyclone Yaas, which has formed in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall very close to a port in eastern India early on Wednesday.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Yaas will intensify further into a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ during the next 12 hours and make landfall very close to Chandbali-Dhamra port by the early morning of Wednesday. Heavy rainfall and storm surge warnings with tidal waves expected to flood low-laying areas are in place. People have been evacuated from low-laying areas in 14 districts in West Bengal, while the oil and gas industry has prepared a contingency plan to meet the cyclone.
“The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is taking all precautionary measures to mitigate the impact of cyclonic storm Yaas,” top refiner Indian Oil Corporation said on Tuesday.
Activities at all project sites have been temporarily suspended, and the workers have been moved out to ensure their safety. All ships carrying refined oil products and crude oil have been advised to keep a safe distance from the cyclone’s path, Indian Oil said.
The company has taken precautionary measures at its refineries at Haldia and Paradip, while all supply vessels to the offshore drilling sites of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have been moved to safe locations. The safety of offshore rigs has also been ensured, according to Indian Oil’s statement.
In addition, all tankers scheduled to berth at single point mooring stations have been moved to safe areas away from the path of the cyclone, and the industry has ensured that no crude tanker is at a single point mooring on the path of the cyclone.
Yaas comes a week after another cyclone, Tauktae, led to the death of at least 19 people in India, and dozens went missing after a barge owned by ONGC, which was carrying personnel for offshore drilling, began drifting after the storm hit off the coast of Mumbai on India’s west coast.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com