Extreme weather is the last thing they need. But, with Tropical Storm Bonnie gathering momentum, many ships and rigs dealing with the US oil spill must move out of its path.
An evacuation could force a delay of 10 to 14 days in operations. Despite the halt, officials say the blown-out well will remain capped.
BP insists work on the site will continue for as long as is possible.
“We have twice daily calls with the National Hurricane Centre and with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and we have what we call trigger times or T-times which say when we have to leave,” said Doug Suttles, BP’s Chief Operating Officer.
US Vice-President Joe Biden has travelled to Alabama to assess BP’s efforts to counter the spill. The White House says President Obama will spend the August 14 weekend along the hard-hit Florida Gulf coast.
BP capped the well last week, choking off the flow of oil for the first time since the rig explosion in April.