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Storm Shuts 78% of Gulf Oil Output, 48% of Gas, U.S. Says

About 78 percent of oil production and 48 percent of natural gas output from the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches, a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement report today showed.

About 1.08 million barrels of oil a day were curtailed as of 12:30 p.m. East Coast time, the bureau said today on its website. That compares with 333,815 barrels yesterday. About 2.17 billion cubic feet of gas per day have been shut in, compared with 371 million yesterday.

Personnel have been evacuated from 346 platforms, or 58 percent of the manned platforms in the Gulf. Companies have evacuated employees from 41 rigs, or 54 percent of the rigs operating in the Gulf, the report showed.

Tropical Storm Isaac, with top sustained winds of 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour, was 280 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory at 2 p.m. East Coast time. The storm was moving northwest at 14 miles per hour and is poised to make landfall south of New Orleans on Aug. 29, the advisory said.

The Gulf accounts for 23 percent of U.S. oil output and 7 percent of natural gas production.

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