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Many Oil, Gas Platforms Still Down; Production Off 60%

From Associated Press

More than 120 Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms were still shut down Saturday, and nearly 60% of the gulf’s normal daily oil production remained blocked from the market because of evacuations related to Hurricane Katrina, a federal agency said.

After surveying 56 energy companies, the Minerals Management Service reported that 122 of the 819 staffed platforms in the gulf were shut down, blocking 897,605 barrels -- or 59.8% of the gulf’s normal daily production of 1.5 million barrels.

The shutdowns also blocked 3.8 billion barrels of natural gas from market, or 38.2% of the gulf’s normal daily gas production of 10 billion cubic feet, the agency said.

Since Katrina first threatened the gulf on Aug. 26, 17.1 million barrels of oil and 84.2 billion cubic feet of gas have been shut in, the agency said. Normally, the Gulf of Mexico produces 547.5 million barrels of oil and 3.65 trillion cubic feet of gas annually.

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