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    Shell and Chevron Plan Storm Tweets

    The oil companies are turning to social networking to share hurricane updates.

    HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Co. and Chevron Corp. are joining the Twitterati.

    Houston-based Shell plans to share 2009 hurricane season updates via Twitter in addition to e-mail and regular postings on its Web site, while Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., plans to do the same with a Twitter account it already uses for company news, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.

    Shell spokeswoman Darci Sinclair told the newspaper that the company’s hurricane-related messages will likely point users to its Web site, given the 140-character limit on the Twitter messages, which are called Tweets.

    So far, it doesn’t appear other Gulf of Mexico producers have embraced the social networking phenomenon to help spread the word about evacuations, production shutdowns and other effects of hurricanes on offshore and onshore operations.

    "We haven’t reached a conclusion quite yet, but it doesn’t hurt to try it out and see how it goes," said Guy Cantwell, spokesman for Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. ConocoPhillips also may consider it, spokeswoman Kristi DesJarlais said.

    Bill Day, spokesman for Valero Energy, the nation’s largest refiner with plants along the Gulf Coast, told the newspaper simply, "No, we’re pretty old school."

    Similar sentiments emerged from BP—"No current plans to join the Twitterati," said spokesman Ronnie Chappell—as well as from Exxon Mobil Corp. and independents Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Devon Energy and Apache Corp. the report stated.

    Shell typically issues detailed, repeated updates on its storm-related Web site in the lead-up and aftermath of hurricanes. Other producers, refiners and pipeline operators do the same, although some limit details, according to the Chronicle report.

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