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Friday AM August 29th, 2008

image of Gustav and oil rigOil companies are securing their offshore drilling rigs and production platforms as Gustav continues heading toward the Gulf of Mexico. Ed Mayberry reports.


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In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed 109 oil platforms and five drilling rigs.  Houston-based drilling companies have been evacuating non-essential workers, including Transocean, Noble Corporation, Pride International and BP.  Devon Energy’s Ed Schlichtenmyer says companies were able to try out their emergency response plans during Hurricane Edouard a few weeks ago.

“Edouard was a perfect example of how we function and operate in these types of situations.  We were able to reach out to our employees, make an informed decision the day before-not wait until the next morning, but the day before-and reach out to all the employees and let them know to stay home.  If it was something where evacuations were in order, we could certainly ask ‘are you evacuating?  Can you provide us with your contact’ and they can provide feedback to us, and we keep track of all of our people.” 

Devon Energy’s Chip Minty says, like other energy companies, some evacuations have already begun.

“Each rig has about 100 people on board.  Even though we’re not certain of the track that this storm is going to take, because there’s so many people aboard these two rigs, it seemed like a sensible thing to do to began taking some non-essential people to lighten the load so that if we do need to evacuate those rigs, we can do it in a timely way.”

The Oil Price Information Service says if the storm goes anywhere near refineries, gasoline production could be knocked out for about a week. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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