Barry weakened to a tropical depression but was set to cause more life-threatening floods today as it heads north. The storm was 80 miles west-southwest of Little Rock, Arkansas, with sustained winds of 25 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin this morning.
Bloomberg reports that oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico are preparing, or have begun, to re-staff offshore crude and natural gas platforms. ExxonMobil says it is returning workers to its three platforms where non-essential staff were evacuated, with “minimal production impact.”
Chevron says it already began restarting the six crude oil platforms that it shutdown ahead of the storm. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 16% of total U.S. crude oil production and less than 3% of natural gas production, according to the Energy Department
Barry caused nearly 73% of crude oil production in the Gulf to shut down, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in an update. About 62% of natural gas production was also halted.
Phillips 66 says its Belle Chasse, refinery is being prepared for restart today, after shutting it Friday.
As for agricultural products, specifically Louisiana’s sugar crops, the storm’s effect was limited as earlier forecasts of very heavy rainfall did not materialize, says Herman Waguespack, research director of American Sugar Cane League in Louisiana.
“In the sugar industry, we didn’t get the rain that was forecast.” he says.“This storm is not going to be a major event for us.” Read the full post-storm report.