Gulf Storm System Moving Away From Offshore Energy Operations

A weak low-pressure system that may become a tropical storm this week won’t be a threat to offshore energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, said Dan Kottlowski, a meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami gives the storm a 40 percent chance of becoming tropical in the next two days. The system is moving northeast toward Florida and away from the majority of offshore platforms and rigs, which are closer to Louisiana and Texas.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose briefly amid speculation that the storm might affect those operations.

“There are thousands of people who speculate on oil and they just don’t have their facts straight,” Kottlowski, a tropical weather expert, said by telephone from State College, Pennsylvania. “It just goes to show how ignorant they are, and ignorant isn’t a bad word in this case, that they don’t do enough research on this.”

If the system organizes and its top winds reach 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour, it will become Tropical Storm Andrea, the first of the Atlantic hurricane season that began on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.

Heavy rain will fall across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and Florida, the hurricane center said.

Kottlowski said the system has only about a day and half to get organized before wind shear may tear it apart.

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