HOUSTON (Reuters) - Three more oil producers pulled employees out of Tropical Storm Gordon's path, and companies cut 9 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production on Tuesday as the storm churned towards an expected nighttime landfall.
The storm, which is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane with winds of at least 74 miles per hour (119 kph), shifted eastward, reducing its threat to producers on the western side of the Gulf and most Gulf Coast refineries.
Companies evacuated 54 offshore platforms and halted 156,907 barrels per day of oil production and 232 million cubic feet per day of natural gas output, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Talos Energy Inc
Other major oil producers, including ConocoPhillips
U.S. and global crude futures were up a fraction as traders said they did not expect the storm to have long-term impact on Gulf output. The storm's potential threat also was overshadowed by a strong dollar and storage data that showed rising production, traders said.
"We have a lot of shut-ins. A couple rigs, a couple ports are closed to incoming vessels," one broker said. "But right now it is a Category 1 (hurricane). I can't see why that scares anyone."
The ports of Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama, were closed to all traffic on Tuesday, the U.S. Coast said in a statement. New Orleans-area ports were operating under an advisory that called for gale-force winds within 24 hours.
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