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Exxon Mobil, BP pull staff from Gulf ahead of Hurricane Michael

October 10/2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP and Exxon Mobil on Monday began evacuating personnel from US Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production platforms as forecasters predicted Hurricane Michael would become a major hurricane this week, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm on Monday and forecast it would become at least a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale as its moved through the center of the Gulf of Mexico. Category 3 storms have sustained winds of 111 to 129 miles (178 to 208 km) per hour.

Michael was tracking through the Gulfs energy-producing area and was expected to make landfall near the Florida Panhandle. The storms current track takes it away from refinery-heavy areas of the central and western Gulf Coast.

BP said it has shut in production at four production productions and drilling rigs are taking steps to evade the storm. The platforms evacuating personnel and shutting in production include its Atlantis, Mad Dog, Ka Kika and Thunder Horse facilities, the company said.

Exxon also removed staff from its Lena production platform, but said it did not expect the staff reduction to affect output.

Royal Dutch Shell was monitoring the storm but has not made any changes to its deep water facilities, said spokeswoman Kimberly Windon.

Offshore production in the Gulf accounts for 17 percent of total US crude oil output, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Natural gas production from Gulf offshore operations provides 5 percent of the US total.

Over 45 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast, along with 51 percent of the nations natural gas processing plant capacity, the EIA said.

Production platforms are permanently attached to the sea floor and cannot be moved. Rigs, used for exploration, can be towed out of harms way during a storm.

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2017, ExxonMobil Chemical Company commenced production on the first of two new 650,000 tons-per-year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PE, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Exxon Mobil, Shell, USA.
Category:General News
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