Hurricane Delta has prompted energy companies with oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to pull their teams from platforms on Monday in preparation for the storm’s arrival, a report said.
Reuters reported that BP and BHP already started to remove those considered to be non-essential workers. Energy companies in the region told the news wire they were taking precautions to ensure the safety of their employees.
Delta was on a course to pass by the Cayman Islands early Tuesday before hitting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula potentially as a major storm and continuing on to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast later in the week.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday night that a hurricane warning was in effect in Mexico, from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, as well as Cozumel. Delta is forecast to make landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast around Friday.
Forecasters said the hurricane was moving into an area with very warm water and nearly calm high winds that forecasters at the hurricane center called “a very conducive environment for strengthening."
The Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, citing the Energy Information Agency, said the region “hosts several offshore oil wells, accounting for 17% of the nation’s crude production.”
Jim Foerster, the chief meteorologist at DTN, an energy, agriculture and weather data provider, told Reuters that Delta might be one “of the more impactful storms.”
“This is going to be a quite concerning storm for Louisiana and points east,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report