BP Plc on Monday said it is shutting in production at the Na Kika and Thunder Horse offshore oil platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, after forecasts indicating Hurricane Ian will strengthen in the next few days into the northeastern Gulf.
Hurricane Ian on Monday was in the Caribbean and forecast to move over the western tip of Cuba overnight and enter the Gulf of Mexico. Its 85-mile-per-hour (135 km/h) winds are expected to rapidly intensify and the storm could become a major hurricane as it crosses the Gulf's warm waters.
BP said it has evacuated all personnel from its 130,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) Na Kika, as well as essential personnel from its 250,000 bpd Thunder Horse platform.
The platforms have a capacity to produce 550 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) and 200 mmcf/d of natural gas, respectively.
"We will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps," BP said in a statement.
Chevron Corp. begun transporting all personnel from its Petronius and Blind Faith platforms and is shutting-in the facilities, the company said in a note, with production at other Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets remaining at normal levels.
Shell PLC said on Monday it is closely monitoring Hurricane Ian with no impacts to its Gulf operations.
(Reuters - Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Additional reporting by Arathy Somasekhar; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Toby Chopra)