HOUSTON, May 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Gulf of Mexico producers and refiners are monitoring Subtropical storm Alberto, which is expected to make landfall between east Louisiana and the Florida panhandle early next week, the companies said on Friday. The National Weather Service on Friday predicted the storm would bring heavy rain to the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), located about 20 miles south of the Louisiana coast in the Gulf, was operating normally, according to the company’s website. The LOOP is the only U.S. port that can offload the largest crude oil tankers.
BP Plc spokesman Jason Ryan said Alberto is not expected to affect the company’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chevron Corp said personnel at its 340,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery were monitoring the storm, but not modifying operations.
Phillips 66’s 247,000 bpd Alliance, Louisiana, refinery was also monitoring the storm on Friday, the company said.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17 percent of U.S. crude output and 5 percent of dry natural gas output daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Both figures have decreased as onshore oil and gas production ramped up in big shale plays.
More than 45 percent of the nation’s refining capacity is located along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which also is home to 51 percent of total U.S. natural gas processing capability. (Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Phil Berlowitz )