Tropical Storm Debby threatened to spawn more tornadoes Monday. U.S. companies shut in roughly 23 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as a precaution.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to 6.5 percent of U.S. natural gas production, 29 percent of oil output and 40 percent of refining capacity. Offshore oil and natural gas platforms need to carry out evacuations in advance of a storm’s arrival so any system in the Gulf can cause production disruptions.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Sunday it shut down production at two of its U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platforms Sunday and was evacuating employees as Tropical Storm Debby bore down.
BP Plc, the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico, was shutting in all of its oil and gas offshore platforms on Sunday.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the single location where the largest oil tanker ships can directly deliver crude, stopped offloading tankers on Sunday morning, as rough seas were building at its sea terminal.
The LOOP continued delivers to Gulf Coast refiners from underground storage caverns onshore.
Apache and Chevron Corp. (CVX) said on their websites that they began evacuating non-essential personnel from some Gulf facilities yesterday. ConocoPhillips (COP) said it’s taking non- essential employees off its Magnolia platform.
The death in Florida was blamed on a tornado spawned by the storm, while a man went missing in the Gulf of Mexico at an Alabama beach.
Debby’s top sustained winds were at about 60 mph.