Gulf of Mexico operators continue removing offshore staff due to Hurricane Irma

Marlin platform; Image: Cronus Technology

Oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico continue to shut in operations and evacuate personnel from its offshore assets due to Hurricane Irma.

Shell said on Friday that, as a precautionary measure, it had suspended some of its well operations and reduced staff at the eastern Gulf of Mexico assets in preparation for potentially severe weather conditions in the region associated with Hurricane Irma. There were no impacts to production.

“Current forecasting models indicate a low probability of Hurricane Irma directly impacting Shell’s Gulf of Mexico operations. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and are prepared to take immediate action to keep our people and assets safe if forecast conditions change,” the company added.

Earlier last week, BP had evacuated non-essential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform and the Seadrill-owned West Vela drillship.

Furthermore, ExxonMobil said on Friday it had temporarily closed its Port Everglades terminal in Ft. Lauderdale and evacuated non-essential personnel. The company was also in the process of evacuating all personnel from its Lena platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Sunday, Anadarko said it had shut in production at its easternmost operated facilities, Horn Mountain and Marlin, and removed all personnel. All of its other operated facilities remain operational.

“We will continue to monitor the path of the hurricane and are prepared to remove additional personnel and shut in production if necessary,” the company concluded.

According to a Monday update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Irma is moving toward the north- northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h). A turn toward the northwest at a faster forward speed is expected during the next day or so. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through this morning and then into the southeastern United States late today and Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph (135 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia later on Monday.

Irma has a very large wind field. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center, and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 415 miles (665 km).

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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