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BP braces for Hurricane Irma

Written by  Wednesday, 06 September 2017 15:26

BP has begun evacuating personnel from the Gulf of Mexico, as Category 5 Hurricane Irma churns in the Atlantic Ocean, making its way towards Florida. 

The projected path for Hurricane Irma. Image from the US National Weather Service.

Weather forecasts have indicated that Irma could potentially impact Florida this weekend, and possibly later along the southeast Atlantic Coast.

BP says it is closely monitoring Irma to ensure the safety of its personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP has begun securing offshore facilities for heavy weather and evacuating non-essential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform and the West Vela drilling rigor the super major confirmed. BP is also preparing for the possible evacuation of remaining offshore workers and the shut-in of production at facilities if needed. However, no production is shut-in at this time.

As of 2 p.m. CST, the US National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Irma was moving closer to the Caribbean. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are possible. There is an increasing chance of seeing impacts from Irma in parts of Florida later this week.

“With safety as our top priority, we will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps,” says BP. 

The move follows the devastating effects Hurricane Harvey left on Texas just last week. 

“In addition, with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey still being widely felt, we also remain focused on the safety of our roughly 5000 employees and their families in southeast Texas and our workers and operations elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

“BP continues to assess and remediate portions of our Westlake campus in Houston that sustained significant flooding during Harvey, including our Westlake One office tower and nearby childcare center. While this work is underway, BP’s US headquarters offices will be closed until further notice and reopen only when safe for employees to return to work,” says BP.

BP’s US business activities were minimally impacted by the storm, and all normal operations are expected to continue as the company works to secure temporary office space for a portion of its Houston workforce, and permit other employees to work remotely as they are able. 

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP operates four large production facilities and drilling rigs.

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