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Shell shuts US Gulf of Mexico production ahead of Tropical Storms Marco, Laura

August 24/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- More US producers have taken steps to either evacuate crews from Gulf of Mexico platforms as Tropical Storms Marco and Laura continued their northward push toward the Gulf Coast and expected landfalls at the end of last week, reported S&P Global.

Shell said Aug. 22 that it is now shutting in production at the "majority" of its Gulf of Mexico assets and evacuating crews from platforms.

"Drilling operations have been safely paused as well," Shell said.

Late on Aug. 21, Chevron said it was shutting in production from four large platforms: Big Foot, Genesis, Jack/St Malo and Tahiti.

Australia's BHP said it was "closely monitoring" the two storms and had "put in contingency plans to evacuate non-essential personnel at Neptune and Shenzi [fields] if necessary."

"As the forecasts become more clear we will make that determination," BHP spokeswoman Judy Dane said in an email on Aug. 21.

BP had said Aug. 21 it was shutting down its four large US Gulf platforms Ц Thunder Horse, Mad Dog, Atlantis and Na Kika and also evacuating crews from its platforms and drilling rigs.

And Norway's Equinor said it planned to begin evacuating non-essential crews Aug. 22.

Tropical Storm Marco, which was initially called Tropical Depression 14, became a named storm late Aug. 21. Both Marco and Laura are still in the Caribbean, but continue to head north toward the US Gulf Coast.

However, their tracks are both now more westward, National Hurricane Center maps show.

Laura was initially projected to strike the US Gulf Coast east of Louisiana, but maps now show the storm entering that state west of New Orleans later Aug. 26.

Marco, which at first appeared headed straight for Houston, now has a more flattened track and may hit late Aug. 25 or early Aug. 26 slightly to the southwest, NHC maps show.

Early on Aug. 22, Laura was sited near or over Puerto Rico. And Marco, while it may make landfall as a hurricane, should remain a tropical storm, according to NHC.

Laura's track takes that storm through the heart of US Gulf producing areas, and more notices of output shut-ins and crew evacuations are expected over the weekend.

In contrast, Marco - currently sited east of the Yucatan Peninsula - is targeted to move through areas a little more to the south and west in the Gulf but still cross some producing regions.

As MRC wrote before, Shell will announce a major restructure by the end of the year as the company prepares to accelerate its shift toward its net-zero emissions goal by 2050, said CEO Ben van Beurden to employees. The restructuring will include workforce reductions as part of broader cost-cutting measures, although no figures have been decided yet, the CEO reportedly said during an internal webcast.

We remind that Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to idle a sulfur recovery unit (SRU) at the joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery in 2021, said Shell spokesman Curtis Smith in July 2020. Currently, the refinery is operating at about 75% of its 318,000 barrel-per-day capacity because of reduced demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Shell, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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