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Shell stops returning workers to Gulf due to Ike

Reuters

Shell stops returning workers to Gulf due to Ike

Sat Sep 6, 2008 9:24pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Shell Oil Co (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) said it stopped returning workers to offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday due to Hurricane Ike’s threat to pass through oil and natural gas production areas next week.

About 1,400 workers were evacuated this week by Shell, the Gulf’s largest producer, when Hurricane Gustav menaced offshore production areas.

Shell and other companies began returning workers to the Gulf once Gustav passed onto the Louisiana shore on Monday west of New Orleans.

Shell had returned 615 workers to the Gulf as of Saturday and will not send more offshore until the threat from Ike has passed, the company said in a statement.

“By keeping staff levels to a minimum, we can efficiently evacuate again, if necessary,” Shell said.

As of Saturday, 90.5 percent of the Gulf oil production of 1.3 million barrels per day was shut, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. The Gulf accounts for a quarter of U.S. oil output.

The MMS said 79.4 percent of the 7.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Gulf remained shut as of Saturday. About 15 percent of U.S. natural gas supply comes from the region.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Peter Cooney)

 

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