A severe cyclone off India’s west coast has halted exports of oil products from a port and halted operations of offshore oil platforms and other ports as authorities evacuate people from coastal areas where Arabian Sea Tropical Cyclone Biparjoy has already claimed seven lives.
Biparjoy is expected to land between Mandvi in the western Indian state of Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan on Thursday.
Many offshore oil and gas platforms lie off the coast of Gujarat, which is also home to several major ports. Most of them had to stop operations before the cyclone.
India’s big private refiner Reliance Industries, which operates the world’s largest refining hub, Jamnagar, has been forced to halt exports of diesel and other refined petroleum products from the port of Sikka due to the cyclone, traders said.
Reliance Industries has declared the export of petroleum products from the port of Sikka as force majeure, the company wrote in a letter to traders.
The Jamnagar refinery, which can process 704,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), is a major diesel exporter from India. In recent months, Europe has increased its imports of refined petroleum products from Asia after the EU banned imports of Russian oil products shipped by sea on February 5.
On Monday, the Indian Coast Guard flew eleven people from the Key Singapore jack-up platform, which was operating off Dwarka, to Okha off Gujarat. By Tuesday morning, all 50 employees had been evacuated from the rig, the Indian Coast Guard said.
The Biparjoy cyclone has also suspended operations in Mundra, India’s largest commercial port, as well as ship operations in the port of Tuna.
The Port of Mundra is India’s largest coal import terminal.
In addition, ports in Bedi, Navlakhi, Porbandar, Okha and Bhavnagar were also closed as the cyclone approached.