Tropical Storm Preparedness

Effective Date: 6/6/2005

U.S. Department of the Interior
Minerals Management Service
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

Safety Alert No. 232
July 6, 2005

Contact: Frank Pausina
 (504) 736-2650

Tropical Storm Preparedness

In June 2005, an oil spill associated with Tropical Storm Arlene occurred in the Breton Sound Area of the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana State waters. The incident is currently under investigation by the United States Coast Guard with the assistance of the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Preliminary indications are that, after a production platform in Louisiana State waters was evacuated in anticipation of the storm, with a number of wells left producing, an oil spill originating from the platform resulted in significant environmental damage, specifically to the Brown Pelican population in the Breton Sound area.  

In view of the continued potential for tropical systems to impact oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico and to avoid a recurrence of an incident as described above, the MMS recommends that Lessees and Operators review and update, if needed, their plans and procedures for the evacuation of personnel and the securing of their facilities prior to the approach of such tropical systems.