Gulf Weather System Upgraded to Tropical Storm Don

The tropical disturbance that has been forming in the Gulf of Mexico has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Don. The National Hurricane Center reported that the storm is moving toward the west-northwest at approximately 10 mph and an increase in forward speed is expected through Friday. As of Thursday afternoon, the storm's location is approximately 480 miles east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas

Should the storm stay on its present track, its center would move through the southern and central Gulf of Mexico Thursday and approach the Texas coast on Friday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

Oil companies have begun evacuating non-essential personnel from offshore installations in the path of the storm. Shell, Apache, Chevron, BP and BHP have said that while evacuations have started, production has not been impacted.

BP has evacuated non-essential personnel from the Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Holstein production facilities located in the southern Green Canyon area. Shell has begun securing well operations and evacuating personnel from the Perdido Spar, Auger platform and the Noble Danny Adkins ultra-deepwater semisub. BHP Billiton has evacuated non-essential personnel from Shenzi which is located in Green Canyon 609 and Neptune which is located in the Atwater Valley area.

Anadarko has evacuated approximately 185 employees and contractors from their Nansen, Boomvang, Gunnison, Red Hawk and Constitution spars as well as the Marco Polo facility in the western Gulf of Mexico. As a precaution, Anadarko is also shutting in production at these facilities.

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