Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hurricane Watch: Gulf of Mexico Oil, Gas Rigs Evacuated Ahead of Storm (BHP; MUR; APC; HES)

Although not likely (there's a fair amount of wind shear), Debby could become a hurricane and as the Houston Chronicle's SciGuy points out, Audrey in '57 got to category 4 before it slammed into Texas.
The models are still a bit confused as to where the storm will go:

(Skeetobite weather)
From Bloomberg:
Gulf of Mexico energy platforms began evacuations and shutdowns as a weather system off the Yucatan Peninsula threatened to turn into a tropical storm over the weekend. 

There’s a 90 percent chance the cluster of thunderstorms, drifting northward, will become a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Debby within the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. Computer forecast models disagree on the system’s track.

“The center of circulation of the broad area of low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico appears to be becoming better defined,” the center said in an advisory before 8 a.m. New York time. “A tropical depression, or more likely a tropical storm, could form later today or tonight if the development trend continues.”

The Gulf of Mexico is home to 6.5 percent of U.S. natural gas production, 29 percent of oil output and 40 percent of refining capacity. Offshore oil and natural gas platforms need to carry out evacuations well in advance of a storm’s arrival, so any system in the Gulf can cause production disruptions.

Ferrying Personnel
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) shut the Neptune and Shenzi platforms, which can together produce 150,000 barrels of oil a day and 100 million cubic feet of gas. Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) (MUR) began evacuating non-essential workers in the Gulf yesterday, as did Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) (APC), Marathon Oil Corp., Nexen Inc. (NXY), Enterprise Products Partners LP and Hess Corp. (HES) (HES), the companies said in e- mailed statements or on their websites....MORE

 The Ensemble Model Forecast via Wunderblog isn't much more helpful:

Information about this model can be found at the National Weather Service's Environmental Modeling Center.