Oil majors evacuate Gulf of Mexico workers ahead of storm

Oil giants BP and Shell have evacuated non-essential personnel from some of their Gulf of Mexico facilities ahead of the tropical depression forming in the Caribbean Sea.

In a statement late on Friday, BP said it was closely monitoring the Caribbean Sea disturbance to “ensure the safety of our personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.”

“With forecasts indicating the system could enter the Gulf of Mexico we are now taking additional steps to respond. BP has begun securing offshore facilities and evacuating non-essential personnel from our platforms and drilling rigs,” BP said on Friday.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s update on Sunday, the tropical depression Nine was moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 km/h). On the forecast track, NHC said the depression would be moving away from the Florida Keys and Cuba and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and Monday morning.

Shell said Friday it limited the amount of personnel offshore to those directly involved in the core activities essential to maintaining safe operations.

“Drilling operations have been suspended and production is currently unaffected,” the Anglo/Dutch firm added.

Regarding the tropical depression, NHC on Sunday said a turn toward the west-northwest and a decrease in forward speed were expected by Monday afternoon, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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