UPDATE 1-Evacuations start at some U.S. Gulf operations on storm threat
HOUSTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Some Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operators began evacuating workers from offshore facilities on Thursday as a low-pressure system threatened to strengthen into a cyclone.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning that a weather disturbance in the northwestern Caribbean Sea became less organized overnight and had a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 40 hours, down from a 70 percent chance.
Marathon Oil Corp said on Thursday that the company was evacuating workers not essential to production from its Ewing Bank platform, which can produce up to 9,700 barrels per day of oil and 8.2 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. Such workers would include cooks and maids.
"Marathon Oil's operated production has not been impacted at this time," spokeswoman Lee Warren said.
Destin Pipeline Co LLC also said on Thursday that pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico operated by BP Plc were evacuating nonessential workers. The company said it would continue to accept natural gas flows as weather conditions permit.
Other companies said they were monitoring the storm.