BP, Marathon Oil evacuate some US Gulf workers on tropical storm threat

By ALISON SIDER

Marathon Oil and BP said they are evacuating some workers from the Gulf of Mexico as a storm makes its way from the Caribbean Sea toward the US Gulf waters.

Marathon is removing an unspecified number of non-essential personnel in from its Ewing Bank platform about 130 miles south of New Orleans, but production has not been affected, spokeswoman Lee Warren said Thursday.

As a precaution, BP has started evacuating non-essential personnel from its four deep-water production platforms in the Gulf though they are continuing to pump oil and gas, according to a statement posted on the company's website. Drilling rigs it has hired have temporarily stopped working and are preparing to get out of the storm's way if necessary, BP said.

Stormy weather in the northwestern Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical cyclone as it moves over the Gulf, the National Hurricane Center said in a forecast Thursday. The "weather disturbance" is dumping rain over the Yucatan peninsula and Belize.

Marathon said it is also monitoring Tropical Storm Erin, which is southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, far to the east of the Gulf.

Other oil and natural gas producers in the US Gulf of Mexico, including Chevron, ConocoPhillips and BHP Billiton, said Wednesday they were monitoring the weather in the Gulf.


Dow Jones Newswires

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