Tropical Storm Don, the fourth tropical storm in the Atlantic this season, is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
At 0900 GMT, the storm was located 290 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, headed west-northwest near 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph.
According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEMRE), approximately 11.9 percent of the current GOM oil production has been shut-in and 6.2 percent of the natural gas production.
As of Friday morning, BP started sending workers back to three of its oil and gas platforms in the GOM. BP intends to restart production at the Atlantis, Holstein and Mad Dog platforms. BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said, "With the storm's westward movement, BP has determined that it is safe to begin remanning its three platforms that were evacuated."
BHP Billiton said it expects to fully re-man both of its GOM platforms over the weekend. Earlier this week, BHP evacuated support workers from the Neptune and Shenzi platforms, but didn't halt production, said spokesman Kris Sava.
Along with majors Shell, Apache, Chevron, BP and BHP, Enbridge has also evacuated personnel from its West Cameron 509 platform.
Northern Natural Gas will shut-in production from its Matagorda Offshore Pipleline System in GOM.
Refineries such as Valero's 115,000-barrel-a-day-plant, ConocoPhillips' 247,000-barrel-a-day Sweeny refinery, Citgo's 165,000-barrel-a-day facility and Flint Hills Resources 300,000-barrel-a-day-plant are located in the storm's path, near Corpus Christi.
Tropical Storm Don isn't expected to become a hurricane.
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