Operators Shut In Gulf of Mexico Production Ahead of Hurricane Lili

Shell will be shutting in all its Gulf of Mexico oil production and most of its natural gas production by late Tuesday ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Lili. Shell expects to cut all its 675,000 barrels per day of oil production capacity and leave only 270 million cubic feet of its 2.7 billion cubic feet of gas capacity by the end of the day. "Full evacuation of personnel has commenced and the remaining 250 people will be out by the end of Tuesday," according to a spokesperson from Shell.

ChevronTexaco will also complete evacuation of about 2,000 workers on Tuesday. The company will continue production from remotely-operated platforms for as long as possible. Marathon has stopped production at four platforms, evacuated one and preparations are being made to evacuate the other three. Apache, BP, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Kerr-McGee and Ocean Energy have all begun staff evacuations.

At 3:00 p.m. CST Hurricane Lili was over the western tip Cuba and forecasters are predicting that it could be upgraded to a category 3 storm as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Current predictions suggest it will hit central gulf coast, however, it is unclear if it will hit Texas or Louisiana.