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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Shell says pulling workers from Gulf of Mexico

Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:11am BST
 
HOUSTON, (Reuters) – Shell Oil Co (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) evacuated 300 non-essential workers from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico but production was unaffected on Tuesday as a developing tropical disturbance was expected to strengthen and enter the Gulf later this week.

Shell said it plans to pull an additional 400 non-essential workers on Wednesday.

Other oil and natural gas producer representatives contacted on Tuesday night said they continued to closely monitor Tropical Disturbance 50 as it churned between the southeast coast of Florida and the north Bahama Islands.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Tuesday conditions around the area of low pressure appeared favorable for the formation of a tropical or subtropical cyclone in the next day or two as the system moves across Florida into the Gulf.

So far, the 2007 hurricane season has had a limited impact on Gulf Coast oil production and refinery operations. Three refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, continue restarting after being shut by Hurricane Humberto last week.

The Gulf supplies about 30 percent of U.S. oil production and 23 percent of U.S. natural gas output, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. (Reporting by Erwin Seba)

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