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Shell sees bulk of US offshore fields back in 2 wks


Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:17pm EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Shell Oil (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz), the largest oil producer in the storm-battered Gulf of Mexico, said on Thursday it expects the bulk of its offshore fields back on line within two weeks.

The Gulf of Mexico, home to a quarter of U.S. crude oil production and 15 percent of its natural gas output, has been virtually shut down since late August by back to back hurricanes, Gustav and Ike.

Shell said it expects its Mars, Ursa, West Delta 143, Brutus and South Timbalier 301 oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico to be back on line by the end of next week.

The company added in a press release that its Auger and Enchilada fields are expected to restart by the middle of the following week.

Shell said it was currently producing about 32,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from its capacity of about 500,000 boepd.

As of Thursday morning, some 59.3 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s 1.3 million bpd of oil production remained shut in the wake of the storms, along with 56.4 percent of the region’s 7.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, according to the Minerals Management Service.

(New York Energy Desk, 646-223-6050, editing by Gene Ramos)



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