US oil producers are keeping a close eye on what the US National Hurricane Center is calling Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen, S&P Global Platts reported on Thursday.
The NHC has advised that tropical storm force winds are likely along parts of the north-central and northeastern Gulf Coast. The winds are expected to cover a large area, and should begin well in advance of the arrival of the center, the NHC said.
Occidental Petroleum, for one, is already removing non-essential personnel from its operations in eastern and central US Gulf of Mexico, but its operations for now remain operational.
Hess and Exxon Mobil, two more major US GofM players, are watching the storm developments, but has not made any personnel moves as a result.
One thing that could find itself right in the middle of the tropical storm is the LOOP Terminal, which is the first and only deepwater oil port in the United States, handling up to 2 million barrels of oil per day.
There have been no LOOP announcements regarding the potential tropical storm.
The NHC is giving it a 90% chance of turning into a tropic storm within the next 48 hours—if so, it will be named Nestor. It is projected to reach the coast of Florida between 7 PM Friday and 7 AM Saturday. Part of the storm-affected areas may see storm surge inundation of up to 5 feet above ground level, flooding areas near the coast.
While US oil companies are threatened by a tropical storm, its neighbor to the north is suffering under a different kind of storm—a snow storm that shuttered its Keystone oil pipeline as Manitoba declared a state of emergency, forcing owner TC Energy to declare a force majeure.