BP is starting to evacuate nonessential personnel from its oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as a storm system off the coast of the United States strengthens, a company spokesman said Saturday.
BP, by far the largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf of Mexico, is the latest to start withdrawing workers from the offshore region as the large storm system is forecast to have a 90 percent chance of transforming into a tropical cyclone within the next two days, according to National Hurricane Center forecasts.
The London-based oil company operates four of the seven largest oil and gas platforms in the Gulf, which produced a combined 410,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2010.
"We will begin evacuating nonessential personnel from BP-operated facilities in the Gulf, as well as taking other precautions to safeguard our offshore workforce and operations," BP spokesman Brett Clanton said.
BHP Billiton Ltd. Friday shut in production at two of its US Gulf wells, while Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Marathon Oil Corp., Murphy Oil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc., started evacuating nonessential staff from their production platforms. Oil and gas companies employ thousands of workers on production platforms scattered throughout the Gulf.
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