Shutdown as Sally approaches landfall in Gulf of Mexico

Refiners and offshore producers have been shutting up shop ahead of landfall by the slow-moving Hurricane Sally.

More than 20% of US offshore oil production, 396,000 bpd, was shut and key exporting ports were closed on Tuesday September 15th. Hurricane Sally weakened to a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday and was expected to maintain that strength until making landfall late on Tuesday, the US National Hurricane Centre said.

The storm’s trajectory has shifted east toward western Alabama. That has taken its path away from some Gulf Coast refineries.

The nation’s sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.

As of early Tuesday local time Sally was about 65 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and moving to the northwest at 2 mph.

Offshore facilities operated by Chevron Corp and BP have been shut.

The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery, which processes 255,600 bpd at a site along the Mississippi River on the coast of Louisiana, shut on Monday.

Royal Dutch Shell cut production to minimum rates on Monday at its 227,400-bpd Norco, Louisiana, refinery.