Sept. 4 (UPI) — The oil and gas industry is cautiously watching Tropical Storm Gordon as the system approaches refineries and platforms along the northern Gulf Coast of the United States.
Anadarko Petroleum said Tuesday morning it evacuated personnel from its Marlin and Horn Mountain facilities, where production has been shut in. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port said it is “closely monitoring” the storm, but added Monday that all of its facilities were operating as normal.
S&P Global Platts pinpointed Shell platforms Ram Powell and Ursus, as well as a Chevron plant in Pascagoula, Miss., as sites that Tropical Storm Gordon could affect.
Amid those preparations, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, ticked up 0.15 percent to $69.95 per barrel, as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The price of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was at $77.64, as of 9:20 a.m.
Gordon is expected to make landfall Wednesday, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
Speaking on CNBC, energy analyst John Kilduff said he expects West Texas Intermediate to continue a steady rise, possibly past $75 a barrel in the coming weeks.
The reimposition of U.S. oil sanctions on Iran, expected in November, will fuel that rise in prices, he said.
“These Iranian barrels that we’re going to lose, it’s really going to hurt,” Kilduff said. “It’s really going to make a difference and tip the scale in my view to an upside surprise.”