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Gulf of Mexico storm threatens oil and gas

Oct. 3, 2013 at 7:55 AM

HOUSTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- British energy company BP said it was evacuating some of its non-essential personnel from rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a developing storm.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., said Thursday a low-pressure storm system is centered over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

"Gale-force winds are occurring east of the center [of the storm] over the Yucatan Channel," an advisory said. The storm has an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone and the report said a "hurricane hunter" aircraft would deploy to monitor the storm.

BP said it was taking precautionary measures as the storm system moves east.

"BP has begun securing offshore facilities and rigs and evacuating non-essential personnel from all four company-operated production platforms – Thunder Horse, Na Kika, Atlantis and Mad Dog -- that are in the storm's projected path," it said in a statement.

Oil and natural gas production remained unaffected as of Thursday.

BP is one of the largest oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

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