Tropical Storm Chantal is unlikely to threaten U.S. offshore oil and gas production
in the next 72 hours but could cause problems for Mexican offshore oil output
, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).
AT 10:00 a.m. EDT on Monday Chantal was moving across the Caribbean toward Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. NHC forecasters said they expect the system to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday in the southern Yucatan or neighboring Belize.
Data issued by the NHC showed that Chantal was expected to reemerge into the oil-rich Campeche Sound area of the southern Gulf
of Mexico within 48 hours and gain hurricane strength as it heads for land again between Veracruz and Tampico in Mexico.
That would keep Chantal about 300 miles south of the main U.S. offshore oil- and gas-producing areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico but take her through the Campeche Sound area which produces about 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, or over half of Mexico's total daily production.
U.S. offshore production
in the Gulf of Mexico amounts to about 1.4 million barrels per day of oil and about 13 billion cubic feet of natural gas, about a quarter of domestic production of both commodities.