Tropical Storm Debby drenched much of Florida on Sunday as it crawled north in the Gulf of Mexico and turned its sights toward the Panhandle.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it had shut production on its Auger and Enchilada/Sala production platforms in the U.S.-regulated Gulf of Mexico by Sunday as workers were evacuated ahead of Tropical Storm Debby.
The company was also preparing operations in the central and western Gulf for further shut-ins and evacuations.
On the same time, BP Plc, the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico, shut in all of its production. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the only U.S. port for handling the largest oil tank ships, stopped operating due to rough seas.
ConocoPhillips also shut its Magnolia natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico. All workers had been evacuated and production of about 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day has been shut due to the storm, the company said.
It was the first time four tropical storms have been recorded before July 1 during the Atlantic hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851.
Debby, the fourth named storm this year, was moving at six miles an hour as of 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center said. As it loitered, the storm piled heavy rains and winds of up to 60 miles an hour on to oil and gas platforms in the Gulf
Debby forced the suspension of 8 percent of the region’s oil and gas production.
The government reported that nine production platforms and one drilling rig were evacuated.