SAN RAMON, Calif. — The Gulf of Mexico’s (GoM) six-month hurricane season kicked off June 1, and Chevron said it has prepared for it through design, workplace safety training and by maintaining its own fleet of 18 helicopters for flying to and from its production platforms.
Chevron is among the top operators in the GoM, and the company said having its own fleet of helicopters minimizes the potential for production disruptions when crew evacuation becomes necessary.
“Other companies that depend on contracted helicopters to evacuate can’t create their own schedule and might have to start departing the platform days in advance,” said Jose Jaramillo, manager of Chevron’s aircraft operations in the GoM. “With our own helicopters on standby, we have more flexibility in determining when to safely shut down the platform, and after the storm passes, we can quickly remobilize, assess our facilities and bring production back online days faster.”
Chevron said its platforms are designed to withstand once-in-a-1,000-year storms and have weathered numerous hurricanes in previous years. When a hurricane approaches, Chevron shuts down its operations before evacuating personnel. Shut-ins are essential processes that lock hydrocarbons in reservoirs and wells. Chevron's in-house helicopter fleet is then dispatched to evacuate its offshore workers.
The company also works with professional meteorologists who specialize in the offshore environment and provide extremely accurate forecasts several days ahead of an approaching storm. This gives the company time to prepare and manage safe and efficient evacuations.