Reuters.- Royal Dutch Shell began evacuating its personnel from an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday and other companies began to prepare for the arrival of hurricane-force winds in the second major storm to hit the area in two weeks.
Tropical Storm Nicholas formed off the south coast of Texas Monday with winds of about 100 kilometers per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Nicholas is the second cyclone to threaten the energy complex on the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Between late August and early September, Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on oil refining and production facilities that are still trying to recover.
Almost half of the US production in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be interrupted after the passage of Ida. Shell began evacuating non-essential personnel from its Perdido rig, which was unaffected by Ida, on Monday and was continuing to assess the damage at its West Delta-143 facility, a major transfer station for three large oil fields whose work continues. interrupted.
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Carriers were warned of hurricane force winds at oil export ports on the Texas coast. The port of Corpus Christi could see hurricane force winds the next day, the Coast Guard said. The Phillips 66 refineries in Sweeney, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, activated their hurricane plans on Monday, the company said.
Waves of about 3.5 meters high were reported off Port Aransas, near Corpus Christi, with wind gusts of up to 85 km / h at about 40 km east of Padre Island, according to the National Weather Service.
Oil imports and exports are facing delays by Nicholas. Ships that were unable to load or unload during Ida could be diverted again, the carriers said.
The first supertanker scheduled to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest private terminal in the United States for crude exports and imports, had not yet been filled, according to Refinitiv Eikon’s vessel tracking tool.
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