NEW YORK (AP) — Although Tropical Storm Don’s path is south of the main oil and gas producing regions in the Gulf, about 500 operating oil and gas rigs are in the storm’s path, says Rich Ilczyszyn, senior market strategist at brokerage service Lind-Waldcock.
Oil companies with offshore platforms in the region—including ExxonMobil, BP and Anadarko Petroleum—have begun to shut some oil and gas production and evacuate workers. A sustained drop in production could bring higher oil prices and, if damage occurs, business interruption insurance claims.
In preparation for Tropical Storm Don, ExxonMobil says it has evacuated non-essential personnel from facilities in the path of the storm and is shutting down production that amounts to 8,000 barrels per day, a small fraction of what Exxon produces every day.
Shell says it will evacuate 195 people by the end of the day and shut production at one platform. BP has evacuated workers from three platforms, though only one was in operation at the time. Anandarko Petroleum says it has evacuated 185 workers and shut six platforms.
Forecasters do not expect the tropical storm to strengthen into a hurricane or to threaten refinery production on the Gulf coast.