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Shell Prepares for Hurricane Season

HOUSTON -- Leading up to and throughout the hurricane season, Shell's executive team is focused on three areas: personnel safety, protection of the environment and minimizing the impact on production and supply. Shell's approach to hurricane management includes early detection, tracking and timely preparation, the company said in a statement.

"Shell has many years of experience in preparing for storms in the Gulf of Mexico. We monitor every tropical development that may potentially impact the United States and initiate preparation and recovery plans accordingly," said Tom Smith, president, Shell Oil Products US.

The Shell Hurricane Incident Command (HIC) team is charged with managing oncoming storms. Members of the team represent the various support functions and operational preparedness functions that come into play when handling a hurricane evacuation and redeployment. This group of individuals is designated in advance of June 1, with continuity from year to year, the company noted.

The HIC team meets regularly before hurricane season, and more frequently during the season, in response to specific hurricane threats to continuously assess the situation and potential impact as well as to put appropriate preparation and response procedures into action. As part of ongoing preparation and planning, the HIC team conducts evacuation table-top drills to prepare personnel, and identify and correct any inefficiencies before there is need for an actual evacuation.

"Our hurricane plan has very specific instructions for producing and drilling locations, describing how to shut operations down safely and leave structures in a state that can weather the storm before we leave," explained John Hollowell, executive vice president, Deep Water, Shell Upstream Americas.

Shell implements a phased approach to hurricane preparation and response for its offshore Gulf of Mexico facilities and onshore refineries and chemical plants. A general overview of Shell's hurricane procedures begins with ongoing pre-season planning activities. Once a tropical system develops, Shell makes an assessment of projects and personnel and if necessary, evacuates non-essential personnel. When dangerous conditions are anticipated within 72 hours, Shell escalates evacuations and begins to shut-in production at offshore facilities and shutdown facilities onshore. Once a hurricane's arrival is imminent and facilities are secure, Shell evacuates the remaining crews offshore and onshore. Once a storm has passed, damage assessments are made and, when facilities are deemed safe, crews begin to restart production and the HIC team conducts a review to identify process effectiveness and opportunity for improvement.

Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., has a network of approximately 6,100 branded gasoline stations in the Western United States. Shell Oil Company is a 50-percent owner of Motiva Enterprises LLC, along with Saudi Refining Inc. Motiva Enterprises LLC refines and markets branded products through more than 8,300 Shell-branded gas stations and convenience stores in the Eastern and Southern United States.

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