British forecasters issue wind alerts from what's of Hurricane Ophelia, but the storm isn't impacting the regional energy sector so far. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Energy companies working in the British waters of the North Sea offered no indication Monday that storm system Ophelia was disrupting their work.
The British Met Office, the national forecaster, said former Hurricane Ophelia is moving across parts of Ireland, Wales and Scotland with winds as strong as 80 miles per hour in some areas. So-called Amber Warnings are in place for parts of the region.
"There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage," the latest forecast read.
A spokesperson for Norwegian oil company Statoil told UPI there were no disruptions to its activity in the North Sea from Ophelia. British energy company BP offered no indication that its work was impacted.
Economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said total British oil production during the first seven months of the year increased slightly to average around 1 million barrels per day. Summer production was curtailed by seasonal maintenance, though production is expected to increase with the start of new fields. Total British output next year should grow to 1.04 million barrels per day, which is a revision upward of 40,000 barrels per day from OPEC's estimate in September.
Elsewhere, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., reported a tropical disturbance moving west toward Florida. The storm is producing wind gusts strong enough to approach the characteristics of a tropical storm, but the system is not expected to develop any further.
A series of hurricanes in August and September upended parts of the U.S. energy sector. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Saturday in its last update for Hurricane Nate that less than 1 percent of the total U.S. crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico was still offline, or around 12,000 barrels per day.
At the peak last week, Nate sidelined about 20 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production.