BP has begun evacuating nonessential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Irma, the company said in a statement on Sept. 6.
Production was not shut, the company said.
“With forecasts indicating potential impact this weekend in Florida and possibly later along the southeast Atlantic Coast, BP now is taking additional steps to respond,” BP said in the statement posted on its website.
Others with Gulf Coast and Caribbean energy infrastructure also began to brace for Irma. Buckeye Partners has shut its Yabucoa oil terminal in Puerto Rico and was preparing for the storm at two other marine terminals in Florida and the Bahamas.
Oil terminals and distributors in Florida are tracking the storm, which could curtail fuel shipments to the state, which is largely dependent upon waterborne deliveries of gasoline and diesel.
Around 250,000 bbl/d of refining capacity in the Dominican Republic and Cuba lies in the immediate path of Irma, Thomson Reuters Eikon data showed.
In the Caribbean, the dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Irma slammed across islands with pounding winds and raging surf on Sept. 6 en route to a possible landfall in Florida this weekend.
This comes as another hurricane—Katia—formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, with a hurricane watch effective for the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz, while Hurricane Jose strengthened farther east of Irma, according to the National Hurricane Center.