Tropical storm Alex is currently building strength and is on track to hit the Gulf coast. Many refining and oil companies are taking proactive measures to keep their people out of harm’s way by evacuating several platforms and getting those people to safety. The concern now is whether this will have an impact on the production for the US.
Alex is already building enough strength to become a full blown hurricane by the time it reaches the gulf. However, there is much hope that on his current path he will miss most of the platforms and other refineries that are located in the Gulf are. Still the companies are not taking any chances with the people or the platforms.
Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest of all the companies currently operating in the area has pulled more than 700 workers from their platforms. They have decided to shut down production completely on all platforms that are in the West and Central Gulf area. 835 more employees have remained offshore that would have been rotated out to the platforms this week.
Apache Corp also started pulling workers from their platforms but have opted for the non-essentials to be removed and then stay with production until the threat from Alex has been properly assessed. A company spokesman said that shutting down production completely would be premature and could have a negative effect on supply.
What is worse for the current situation is the fact that BP has announced that Alex will likely slow or stop work on the leaking well in the Gulf. Safety concerns are topping the list and a decision is set to be made as to how many of the workers currently working on the leak will be pulled before Alex hits the Gulf.
Photo source: wikipedia