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Tropical Storm Nate shuts down some US Gulf of Mexico production

Tropical Storm Nate

Tropical Storm Nate

Tropical Storm Nate expected to hit US Gulf Coast early Sunday

Tropical Storm Nate is the second storm in two months to force production shutdowns at some US Gulf of Mexico platforms and staff evacuations at others.

The storm carrying intense rainfall has killed at least 10 people in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and is forecast to graze Mexico’s Mayan Riviera as it enters the Gulf where it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane.

Nate is forecast to make landfall in the United States late Saturday in Louisiana, home to several major refineries.

Reuters reports that almost three-quarters of US Gulf of Mexico oil production was offline by Friday.  Nate is expected to cross through the most active oil producing region in the Gulf.  Nate has shuttered three times as much oil production than Hurricane Harvey.

 

Gas and oil platforms located in the Gulf of Mexico pump about 17 per cent of the total US output.

By Friday, over a million barrels of daily US Gulf oil production was offline, according to the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

BP and Chevron have shut down production at all Gulf platforms.  Shell and Anadarko have suspended some of their production and some drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico.  Exxon, Statoil and some other producers have evacuated personnel from some offshore platforms.

ConocoPhillips says it has begun evacuating non-essential personnel from its Magnolia oil platform.

Refineries in Louisiana are also taking precautions against Nate.  Shell says it will not cut production at its 225,800 b/d Norco refinery and Reuters sources say Phillips 66 will shut down its Alliance refinery.

Chevron has also shut down its 4,100 mile pipeline subsidiary.  The company says it will not accept or deliver crude until after Nate has subsided.

A number of Texas ports awaiting dredging are unable to allow large tankers to enter after Harvey.  Some tankers rerouted to Louisiana ports in the wake of Hurricane Harvey are now in projected path of Tropical Storm Nate.

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the area from Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border.

“Everyone in South Louisiana should be preparing for this storm now,” said John Bel Edwards, the governor of Louisiana. “Anyone who’s taken this storm lightly is making a serious mistake,” he said at a press conference.

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