Oil companies return to gulf after Debby

June 26, 2012 at 6:34 AM

MIAMI, June 26 (UPI) -- With Tropical Storm Debby moving clear of the Gulf of Mexico, Apache Corp. announced it was one of the majors that started to return to normal operations.

Winds and heavy rains from Debby prompted oil companies working in the Gulf of Mexico to evacuate platform staff. Some companies had shut production during the storm but by late Monday most had started to return to normal operations.

"Initially, workers are returning to evacuated platforms in the Central Gulf and beginning to restore production," Apache Corp. said in a statement. "The process will move toward facilities in the eastern gulf."

Two of the largest operators in the region, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, announced similar moves as the storm threat passed.

The National Hurricane Center reported that Debby was moving slowly to the east across Florida while maintaining its current strength. The storm is expected to produce sustained winds of around 45 miles per hour. Parts of northern Florida could see as much as 8 inches of rain from the storm during the coming days.

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