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US offshore oil workers flee as storm Zeta heads toward Gulf of Mexico rigs

October 27/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil producers on Monday were evacuating offshore production platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico as the 27th named storm of the season strengthened overnight and looked likely to threaten the United States as a hurricane, reported Reuters.

BP, BHP Group Ltd , Chevron Corp, Equinor and Royal Dutch Shell began withdrawing staff from their US Gulf of Mexico offshore facilities ahead of Tropical Storm Zeta.

The storm could reach hurricane strength before striking the Yucatan Peninsula at mid-day Monday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday at or near hurricane strength, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Zeta was about 175 miles (285 km) south of Cozumel, Mexico, early Monday and moving northwest at nine miles per hour. Mexicos government issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

With forecasts indicating the storm will move across the Central and/or Northeastern Gulf of Mexico in the next few days, we are taking steps to respond, BP said in a statement. It pulled oilworkers off all its four production platforms in the Gulf.

BHP, Chevron and Shell also began moving non-essential staff from offshore facilities, spokespeople said. Equinor withdrew workers and shut production on its Titan production platform, a spokesman said.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. , the third largest producer in the offshore Gulf of Mexico, did not reply to a request for comment.

It has been a challenging year for Gulf of Mexico oil producers, with some companies having to withdraw workers and halt production at least six times as storms churned through the Gulfs offshore production region.

US Gulf of Mexico offshore oil production accounts for about 17% of total US crude oil production and 5% of total US dry natural gas production.

If Zeta strikes the US mainland, it would top the record of 10 named storms to make US landfall in one hurricane season that was set only weeks ago by Hurricane Delta.

Mississippi River ports from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico were open on Monday but placed on notice of gale force winds from a storm due within 72 hours.

As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell plc. said earlier this month that its petrochemical complex of several billion dollars in Western Pennsylvania is about 70% complete and in the process to enter service in the early 2020s. The plants costs are estimated to be USD6-USD10 billion, where ethane will be transformed into plastic feedstock. The facility is equipped to produce 1.5 million metric tons per year (mmty) of ethylene and 1.6 mmty of polyethylene (PE), two important constituents of plastics.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Chevron, Chevron Phillips, Equinor, OxyChem, Shell, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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