Heat-related illnesses hit offshore workers in Gulf of Mexico amidst extreme heat wave

David Wethe, Bloomberg August 22, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Heat-related illnesses are hitting workers on offshore oil and gas platforms as searing temperatures bake the U.S. Gulf Coast.

A rare heat advisory from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement warned offshore oil companies on Tuesday to take extra precautions in the Gulf, including periodic breaks. In a few recent instances, affected workers have been taken to shore for further evaluation, the alert said.

Extreme heat has smothered Texas and Louisiana for weeks. For the nearby offshore production regions, the heat index — a measure of what temperatures feel like when combined with humidity — has reached 100F to 110F (38C to 43C) degrees, said Rich Otto, a forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. The water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico has hit 88F in many areas off the coast of Texas and Louisiana, according to the U.S. National Data Buoy Center.

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