HOUSTON (Reuters) - BP Plc the largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf of Mexico, said on Saturday the company would begin evacuating non-essential workers from its energy platforms because of a weather system in the basin, but production operations remained normal.
BP operates seven oil and gas platforms in the U.S. Gulf, including the world's largest, Thunder Horse, which is designed to produce up to 250,000 barrels per day of oil and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Gulf oil and gas producers were monitoring the storm, which had a 90 percent chance of developing into Tropical Storm Debby in the next day or two, forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Saturday.
Some companies had begun evacuating non-essential workers, or those not directly involved in production like cooks and cleaning staff.
BHP Billiton on Friday evacuated all workers and shut in production at the two platforms it operates, which have a combined capacity to produce 170,000 barrels per day of oil and 100 million cubic feet of gas.
The Gulf is home to about 20 percent of U.S. oil production and 6 percent of natural gas output.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays; Editing by Jackie Frank)