Offshore oil firms have stopped almost one-fifth of the production in the Gulf of Mexico and evacuated workers from 13 platforms ahead of Hurricane Michael.
According to the weather forecast, the storm is expected to turn into Category 3 hurricane, with wind speed reaching anywhere between 110 and 130 miles per hour.
By midday on Monday, the firms switched off 324,190 barrels per day of oil production and almost 284 million cubic feet of natural gas.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement stated that five drilling rigs have been moved out of the hurricane’s direction.
It seems that the storm is heading away from refinery-filled sites along the central and western parts of the Gulf.
Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anadarko have closed production at two platforms each while BP had to close down production at four platforms.
Chevron stopped production at Blind Faith and Petronius facilities; Anadarko at Horn Mountain and Marlin; and BHP at Shenzi and Neptune. BP halted production at Na Kika, Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Thunder Horse platforms.
Equinor and Exxon Mobile also evacuated their Titan and Lena production facilities, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hess Corp and Royal Dutch Shell stated they were monitoring the situation and would take necessary action if required.
Ports including Mobile in Alabama and Pensacola in Florida. Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi, were open yesterday. The US Coast Guard, has, however, issued a warning that wind of Hurricane Michael could hit in the next 48 hours.
According to the Energy Information Administration, oil output from the Gulf contributes 17% of total crude oil production in the country, while natural gas production from the region stands at only around 5% of the total.