Shell Clears GoM Rigs of Non-Essential Personnel Ahead of Tropical Cyclone

Shell Oil Co, the US arm of Royal Dutch Shell, has decided to remove all non-essential workers from its rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in preparation of a low-pressure storm with an 80% chance of turning into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours, Reuters reports.

The removal of the non-essential personnel would not affect the offshore oil production, Shell said.

National Hurricane Center said that the surface observations and satellite data indicate that the broad area of low pressure over the south-central Gulf of Mexico has changed little over the past several hours.

The system’s circulation is not well-defined, and the associated shower and thunderstorm activity remains disorganized. The low continues to produce tropical storm force winds well to the east and northeast of the center.

Upper-level winds are forecast to gradually become more favorable while this system moves northwestward during the next day or two across the western Gulf of Mexico, and a tropical depression or tropical storm could form during that time.

Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, tropical storm conditions are possible along portions of the middle and upper Texas coast and the western Louisiana coast Monday night and Tuesday.

There is also a risk of heavy rainfall and possible flooding across portions of eastern Texas and western Louisiana.