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Chevron Evacuates Gulf Of Mexico Oil Platforms As Hurricane Idalia Approaches

Chevron has evacuated three oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of tropical storm Idalia which is strengthening to a hurricane and expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

The U.S. supermajor said on Tuesday that it had evacuated non-essential personnel from its Blind Faith and Petronius platforms, and all staff had been removed from its Genesis platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil and gas production continued on Tuesday at Chevron’s operated platforms and other facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, a spokesperson told Reuters.   

In the 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday update on Hurricane Idalia, the National Hurricane Center said that Idalia is strengthening as it moves northward over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida Gulf coast. Heavy rainfall has the potential to produce flash and urban flooding across portions of the west coast of Florida, the Florida Panhandle, and southern Georgia,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Idalia is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday and create chaos and gasoline shortages just ahead of the Labor Day weekend, when more drivers are expected to hit the road, analysts say.

As of Tuesday morning, the percentage of gas stations in Florida without gasoline remains low but is constantly rising, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, said.

Gasoline demand in Florida ahead of Idalia could lead to shortages but they will be temporary, AAA Auto Club spokesman Mark Jenkins told Florida’s WUSF Public Media.

“As long as the Tampa Port remains open then gasoline will continue sailing into the region. And deliveries will be made until the actual storm itself is passing through, and then that's considered to be unsafe to transport fuel, and most people wouldn't be on the road at that time anyway,” Jenkins said.

Moreover, Hurricane Idalia is not expected to impact refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast supplying Florida as these are on the Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi coasts, he added.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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