Offshore oil and gas workers have already been evacuated from platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico while industrial businesses across Louisiana are mulling their options as Hurricane Ida nears.
Chevron, Equinor, Royal Dutch Shell alongside BP and BHP have already sent workers back to shore. Offshore oil extraction accounts for 17% of overall U.S. crude oil production while nearly half of U.S. refinery capacity sits along the Gulf Coast.
Plaquemines Parish, which sits just south of New Orleans, is recommending residents evacuate the area. There is also several industrial sites down there from a Phillips 66 refinery to Chevron’s Oronite facility.
Phillips 66 is temporarily shutting down its Belle Chasse refinery along the Mississippi River and non-essential personnel have been sent home. Its Lake Charles refinery and Gulf Coast Lubricants Plant are still operational.
There’s also construction preparation for a liquefied natural gas export terminal for Venture Global and CCI’s methanol plant at Port Nickel.
The Port of South Louisiana in Laplace along the Mississippi River expects to close after 6 p.m. on Saturday. Bayer’s facility in Luling which sits along the river is expected to close until next Tuesday.
Baton Rouge General’s hospitals will remain open but its physician clinics will be closed on Monday while surgeries scheduled for that day will be postponed.
Kinder Morgan looks to temporarily shutter it’s International Marine Terminals on Friday due to the emergency evacuation order. The company looks to shut down the Harvey and Seven Oaks Terminals by Saturday night.
The EcoLab Garryville plant is closing on Saturday and has a ride-out team during the storm.
Some petrochemical companies are waiting until there’s more information about the path of the storm.
“We are currently monitoring the path of Hurricane Ida and its potential impacts to our facility,” said Jennifer Nanz, spokesperson for Nova Chem, which sits along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Likewise, the Baton Rouge ExxonMobil Refinery and Chemical complex remains open with normal operations.
“We are closely monitoring Hurricane Ida and our Baton Rouge area facilities have started the hurricane preparedness process in preparation for severe weather,” said Stephanie Cargile, spokesperson for ExxonMobil.
The BASF operations in Geismar were operating normally and are not anticipated to close.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. declined to comment whether it would close but noted that the oil refinery has a severe weather plan.