Gulf oil platforms shut down before storm 

    The top oil operators in the Gulf of Mexico said Tuesday they are evacuating workers from most of their deepwater platforms in response to this hurricane season’s first looming disturbance in the area, The Houston Chronicle reports. 

    The storm, which would be named Barry if it continues to strengthen, is expected to travel westward along the Gulf Coast toward Louisiana and possibly farther.

    The Gulf’s leading producers, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, are evacuating much of their offshore personnel and shutting down oil and gas output at many of their sites in preparation of the strengthening storm. A decent chunk of the Gulf’s 2 million barrels of daily oil production is about to come offline for a few days.

    Chevron said it will evacuate and shut down production at five of its platforms, although a sixth will remain operating normally while nonessential people are evacuated. 

    Shell said it is evacuating nonessential personnel from its four platforms in the eastern gulf. Workers also were removed from the BP-operated Na Kika platform, which Shell partially owns. 

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