In what could be termed as responding to an emergency, oil companies in the US Gulf Coast have started moving many of their workers retaining only those that are deemed very crucial. This is in response to the Subtropical Storm Alberto that is expected to hit the coast in coming days.
Evacuation of workers
Exxon Mobil has announced that it has moved workers that are non-essential from the Lena production platform located in the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon has only retained a few workers that are deemed key to production in the area. On the other hand, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron Corporation have announced complete shutdown of production activities in the Lena production platform
The U.S National Hurricane Center has announced that Alberto is becoming more of a tropical cyclone, with its circulation becoming more focused at the central core, which is located 220 km west of Tampa, Florida. The storm is advancing at the speed of 85 km per hour. It was earlier announced that the storm would make landfall on Monday morning in the Florida panhandle.
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 17% of the daily crude oil produced in the U.S and 5% of the natural gas production. This is according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Additionally, the Gulf accounts for 45% of the U.S refining capacity as well as 51% of the natural gas processing capacity.
The Alberto Subtropical Storm is said to have shed off much of its strength as it approaches Florida’s Panhandle. From the Panhandle, it was expected to come ashore and cause heavy rains in the entire southern U.S. The storm is expected to leave a trail of losses amounting to $1 billion.
State of emergency
Florida governor, Rick Scott, has declared state of emergency in all the 67 counties of the state even as government machineries keep an eye on the progress of the storm. The declaration of the state of emergency allows local authorities to allocate sufficient time and resources to combat as well as mitigate the effects of the storm.
The Florida National Guard has put 5,500 officers on stand-by alert and is ready for deployment to respond to any emergency or distress call. Governors in Mississippiand Alabama have also declared states of emergency as they prepare for the coming of this year’s hurricane season.