A low pressure storm system moved into the southwestern Gulf late last week. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that there was a 50 percent chance it could turn into a cyclone in 48 hours on Thursday morning.
These odds are actually an improvement from what the Center said previously. There were 70 percent odds that the tropical storm was going to turn into a cyclone. The odds then decreased to 60 percent and finally 50 percent.
Oil companies in the region are preparing by evacuating workers. British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) evacuated its non-essential workers from its four oil and gas platforms in the region. One of the rigs the British company has there is Thunder Horse, which is the largest platform in the world.
UpStreamOnline reports that the British company did not halt operations, but they did halt contract drilling rigs temporarily. With regard to its operations, the company said, “Oil and natural gas production at all BP-operated platforms remains online at this time.”
BP is not the only oil company evacuating workers from the area. The company Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) evacuated all non-essential personnel from its Ewing Bank platform. A spokesman for Marathon Oil said that the oil production had not been affected.
Additionally, Petrobas, the state-owned Brazilian company evacuated workers from its Cottonwood field. The Brazilian company was the first one to actually shut down production in the face of the approaching storm.