With the attention on Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico this week, I thought it would be a good time to remind readers of an earlier post outlining ExxonMobil’s extensive hurricane preparedness efforts that we undertake year-round.
The events of this week illustrate why we take those steps to be ready when severe weather events arise.
ExxonMobil maintains a significant presence along the Gulf Coast, as the accompanying map shows. So we have to be prepared. The whole industry does, in fact, because the U.S. economy depends on energy production from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Energy Information Administration, offshore drilling in the Gulf accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s domestic crude oil production, and a significant portion of its natural gas as well. And more than 40 percent of the country’s refining capacity is located along the Gulf.
When it comes to dealing with hurricanes, our top priority – as always – is to protect the safety of our personnel and our communities.
That is why we evacuated personnel from offshore facilities expected to be in the path of the storm. We safely shut down our refining operations in Chalmette, LA, as well, and accelerated hurricane preparedness plans at our Baton Rouge facilities. We are posting regular updates on the impact of the storm on our operations on our corporate website, www.exxonmobil.com.
With Isaac moving inland from the coastline, we have begun our post-storm assessments and are working to restore full operations as soon as it’s safe to do so. And we’ll apply any lessons learned to our preparations for similar events in the future.