HOUSTON (Reuters) – Major offshore oil and gas producers on Friday were evacuating non-essential staff from production platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico due to the threat from Hurricane Dorian.
BP, Chevron Corp and BHP Group said they had or were in the process of removing some workers from their facilities as a precautionary measure. Each said oil and gas production at the offshore facilities was unaffected.
Dorian is forecast to strike the Atlantic coast of Florida by early next week as a major hurricane. Some computer models project Dorian may cross the Florida peninsula and enter the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico account for 16%of U.S. crude oil output and about 4% of U.S. natural gas.
Planned evacuations were complete at BP’s Atlantis, Mad Dog, Na Kika and Thunderhorse, and at Chevron’s Petronius and Blind Faith platforms, the companies said. BHP will evacuate non-essential workers from its Neptune and Shenzi production facilities on Saturday, a spokeswoman said.
Exxon Mobil Corp and Occidental Petroleum said they are closely monitoring Dorian, and their Gulf of Mexico operations were operating normally.
Other oil companies with operations in the U.S.-regulated north Gulf of Mexico did not reply to requests for comment about offshore operations.
Chevron said its Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery continues to monitor the storm.
Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, has not modified operations at its Norco and Convent, Louisiana, refineries, according to spokesman Ray Fisher. Shell spokeswoman Cynthia Babski said offshore operations were not affected by the storm’s threat.