Dorian forces evacuation of Encana and ExxonMobil's offshore facilities
This satellite image provided by NASA from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (NASA via AP)
As Hurricane Dorian bears down on the Maritimes, some energy companies operating offshore oil platforms have removed all staff from their facilities.
Calgary-based Encana announced on Friday all of its staff at the Deep Panuke Production Field Centre, located 250 km southeast of Halifax, has been removed because of the forecasted weather and sea-state conditions.
Earlier in the week, ExxonMobil announced it would be removing all non-essential personnel at the Sable Offshore Energy Facilities because of the storm.
By Friday, the company expanded the evacuation order.
"To ensure the safety of our Sable team, ExxonMobil Canada has removed all personnel from the Sable platforms," said Lynn Evans, public and government affairs advisor with ExxonMobil Canada.
Other offshore platforms in the Atlantic, Hibernia, Suncor's Terra Nova, Husky's White Rose and Exxon's Hebron, are all outside the storm's current path.
Officials say they are staying vigilant nonetheless.
"We continue to monitor, but at the moment the forecast has the storm on a path to travel towards the province's west coast, which is the opposite coast from our White Rose field," Husky spokesperson Mel Duvall said in an email.
Now a Category 1 storm, Dorian is moving at 22 km/h and is expected to remain a hurricane when it reaches Nova Scotia sometime on Saturday.
A hurricane watch has been called for the entire province by the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
Tropical storm watches are also in place for southeastern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands and western Newfoundland.
The forecast calls for severe winds and torrential rain throughout the region including Quebec's Lower North Shore.
(With files from BNN's Tara Weber and the Canadian Press)