Workers remove a sunshade in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Delta, in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo state, Mexico on October 6, 2020.
Elizabeth Ruiz | AFP | Getty Images
Hurricane Delta began its march through prime U.S. offshore oil-producing areas in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Thursday as energy companies moved drilling rigs and pulled workers off platforms.
The storm, expected to intensify over the Gulf’s warm waters to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kmh), has halted 80% of the region’s offshore oil and nearly 50% of its natural gas output.
Offshore producers including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum pulled workers from platforms to safer quarters onshore.
The unusually high number of storms coupled with pandemic safety precautions has made this year a costly and difficult one for offshore producers.
Onshore oil and gas processing plants and energy