How do hurricanes affect offshore drilling?

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2018 | Admiralty & Maritime Law

Offshore drilling on a good day can be challenging. However, when a hurricane is heading towards Louisiana and the rig located in the Gulf, it can increase the danger immensely. Drilling in the Gulf Coast area is common because the waters are nice. They do not suffer from icing issues because they are generally warm. The downside, though, is they are a target for hurricanes and other tropical storms.

If you are on a rig in the Gulf and a hurricane is coming, it helps to be aware of how this will impact your operations. According to The Atlantic, oil companies react in a few different ways to an incoming storm. They will reduce the number of employees on site or remove them completely. Some companies will relocate operations. Hurricanes, though, are unpredictable. It is never really known exactly where they will go until it happens. This can make it hard to determine how to react to an incoming storm.

Typically, though, companies are aware of just how dangerous it can be to employees and the environment if they do not take storm warnings seriously. Most will react accordingly and get employees and operations out of harm’s way. Serious hurricanes can shut operations down for weeks, which is a huge hit, but safety has to be the utmost concern. It is much better to shut down operations than to try to manage serious injuries, deaths and huge oil spills. This information is for education and is not intended as legal advice.

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