HOUSTON (ICIS)--In preparation for Tropical Storm Cindy, Shell has suspended all offshore flights from heliports located in central Louisiana, including some well operations, the Anglo-Dutch energy major said on Tuesday.
Production is currently unaffected, Shell said.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that Cindy has been nearly stationary for much of Tuesday. However, NOAA predicts a northwestward motion to resume overnight and continue through Wednesday.
Cindy currently has maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles/hour (75 km/hour), with slight strengthening expected during the next 24 hours, according to NOAA. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from its centre.
Cindy is expected to make landfall over southeast Texas or Louisiana between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to the government administration.
In terms of rainfall, NOAA predicts Cindy to produce approximately 6-9 inches (15.2-22.8 cm) with isolated rainfall of 12 inches over southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and Florida. Flash flooding could occur.
Approximately 3-5 inches of rain can be expected in southeast Texas, NOAA added.
The governor of Alabama declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, to remain in effect “until the threat diminishes”.
The governor of Louisiana, which did not declare a state of emergency as of 16:00 Houston time (22:00 GMT) said the main threat is heavy rainfall.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) stated that vessel offloading operations were suspended at 13:00 Houston time (1900 GMT) for its marine terminal, and will remain idle until more favourable conditions occur.
The LOOP, which is the single largest point of entry for crude oil coming into the US, noted that all its other facilities and connecting pipelines report normal operations.
Port of Houston is operating normally, it said, and is continuing to monitor the situation.
According to NOAA, a tropical storm watch remains in effect around the Texas coast near Galveston, while parts of Louisiana’s coast are under a tropical storm warning.
NOAA stated late Tuesday that Tropical Storm Brent, which formed on Monday, has been downgraded to a tropical wave and should soon dissipate.
NOAA stated in its 2017 Atlantic hurricane outlook that this year’s season is forecast to be stronger than average.