Shell: Monitoring Tropical Storm Chris 'Closely'

NEW YORK, Aug 02, 2006, Dow Jones Newswires

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) said Wednesday it was monitoring Tropical Storm Chris "closely" as the weather system barreled toward the southeast Bahamas, possibly threatening the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

"At this time, there is no impact on Shell-operated drilling or producing operations," Shell said in a statement. "No evacuations of personnel are taking place at this time. Plans are in place to begin evacuating personnel non-essential to drilling or producing operations, if warranted."

Shell is the first energy company to say it's keeping an eye on Chris, which the National Hurricane Center says could strengthen to a hurricane later Wednesday or Thursday. Although Chris isn't expected to graze Florida's southern tip until this weekend, some weather forecasters already say it could become a threat to oil and natural gas facilities in and along the Gulf.

Compared with 2005, this year's storm season has been mild. However, most hurricanes form in the months of August and September.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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