COVINGTON, La., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Workers returned to an important oil terminal off the coast of Louisiana as Tropical Storm Karen weakened, a port operator said.
British energy company BP and its counterparts evacuated personnel from rigs in the Gulf of Mexico last week as Karen made its way through the region.
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port LCC, which runs the only offshore port in the country for direct tanker offloading, said employees returned to its terminal Sunday.
The LOOP terminal is 20 miles south of Grand Isle, La. It can transfer crude oil from supertankers at a rate of 100,000 barrels per hour.
BP said Sunday it started sending staff back to its gulf platforms after the National Hurricane Center downgraded Karen to a tropical depression. The company said it had regulatory approval to restart its gulf operations after the storm passed.
"At this time, we cannot predict how long this will take, but safety will be our overriding priority as we move through this process," the company said in a statement Sunday.