Oil Facilities in the Gulf are Bracing for Hurricane GraceBy Antonio Trujillo | Fri, 08/20/2021 - 10:56
Category 1 Hurricane Grace will hit the Gulf of Mexico, and a second landfall is forecast Friday evening or Saturday morning along the Mexican coast west of the Yucatan Peninsula. No heavy damage nor harm to oil and crude production in Mexico is expected.
Grace has weakened to a tropical storm already, but it is expected to reemerge as a full-blown hurricane upon its entry to the Gulf of Mexico. This transformation, however, is not worrying PEMEX nor other companies with oil production facilities in the region, given that Grace’s entrance will mostly stick to tourist destinations. It will first hit the state of Quintana Roo, causing damage to neighboring Yucatan as well, mostly staying away from important machinery.
Notwithstanding, PEMEX is beginning to roll-out and implement plans to protect workers and their general operations in the state of Tamaulipas. Through its Hurricane Emergency Response Plan, for example, the NOC maintains a close inspection of any development in Grace’s wake. In the past, operations have been halted upon the entrance of a Category 3 Hurricane, so Grace, so far, represents no threat to operations, reported PEMEX.
Nevertheless, PEMEX has urged the public, especially in the Yucatan peninsula and other states in the path of Grace, like Veracruz, to not panic and deplete the fuel supply through panic purchases, given that the company is dutifully tending distribution to Storage and Dispatch Terminals (TAD), in Lerma, Mérida, and Progreso, and airports in the area. All three terminals have enough resources, these include magna and premium gasoline as well as diesel to supply all users. Foreign companies had their fuels distributed first thing Wednesday morning to avoid accidents or delays due to road closures and other storm affectations.
Though oil production will not be affected, electricity supply could be. For that reason, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has prepared emergency mobile power plants to be deployed to the Yucatan peninsula. Hurricane Grace will cause torrential rains of over 250 mm of water in Quintana Roo and Yucatan within the first 24 hours of its wake, as well as strong winds of 120 to 150 kilometers per hour and waves of 3 to 5 meters in Campeche.