Oil producers evacuate Gulf of Mexico platforms in the US as storm Sally approaches

Oil producers evacuate Gulf of Mexico platforms in the US as storm Sally approaches

US Gulf of Mexico oil producers evacuated offshore facilities on Saturday, as a tropical storm off the coast of Florida was expected to turn into a hurricane and threaten the oil region.

Chevron Corp and Murphy Oil Corp on Saturday began removing workers from offshore oil and gas platforms. Royal Dutch Shell, BHP, BP and Hess Corp said they were monitoring the storm and prepared to take action if necessary.

Tropical storm Sally crossed the tip of Florida at night and moved to the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center predicts that maximum sustained winds will reach 80 miles per hour (129 km / h) before landfall next week.

Chevron began evacuating all personnel from its Blind Faith and Petronius platforms and initiated closure procedures, a spokeswoman said, while production on its other offshore platforms was unaffected.

Murphy Oil was preparing to evacuate non-essential personnel from its easternmost facilities and monitor the storm for possible impacts on other properties, a spokeswoman said.

Sally was expected to strengthen in the coming days and head to an area between southeastern Louisiana and Alabama.

If Sally becomes a hurricane, he will be the second to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in less than a month.

Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana with devastating winds of 250 km / h, devastating coastal cities and leaving two oil refineries out of service for weeks.