By Dan Molinski
Chevron Corp. said Monday it was moving workers to safety and halting production temporarily at a pair of offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as it prepares for Hurricane Ian.
"We have begun transporting all personnel from our Petronius and Blind Faith platforms and are shutting-in the facilities," Chevron said in an emailed statement. Chevron added, however, that all of its other production from Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets "remains at normal levels."
Shell, another offshore producer, said it also was keeping a close eye on the storm. "We are closely monitoring Hurricane Ian," the company said in an emailed statement. "As of today, there have been no impacts to Shell operations in the Gulf of Mexico."
Hurricane Ian is currently located in the Caribbean Sea and is expected to head northward and make landfall in western Cuba on Tuesday before continuing north and slightly east and making landfall somewhere along the western coast of Florida on Wednesday.
If it does touch down in Florida, Hurricane Ian would become the first hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season to make landfall on the U.S. mainland.
As the storm continues to develop, Tom Kloza at Oil Price Information Service said more offshore oil shut-ins are possible.
"It looks like the storm has moved a bit westward and my sense is that track takes it closer to some offshore rigs," Kloza said. " Probably won't lose any, but precautionary shutdowns can have an impact."
The two Chevron platforms halting output can produce around 120,000 barrels a day of oil combined, though actual daily production can be lower than that. Total offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is about 1.8 million barrels a day, which accounts for about 16% of total U.S. production of 11 million barrels a day.
Offshore natural gas production is about 5% of total U.S. production, according to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.
Write to Dan Molinski at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires