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    Oil Cos. Return to Gulf Coast After Storm Passes

    BP, Shell resume operations after tropical depression threatened equipment.

    NEW YORK -- A number of major oil companies -- including BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc -- are resuming normal operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, after evacuating personnel due to an impending tropical storm, Bloomberg News reported.

    As of late Friday, Shell began returning workers to offshore platforms, the report stated, citing the company's Web site. Before the storm passed, Shell shuttered all of its wells and evacuated all offshore crews, a separate Bloomberg News report stated.

    Other oil companies -- including Chevron Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Williams Cos., Apache Corp., ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil Corp. -- had closed operations and evacuated employees as the storm passed over Florida earlier in the week, and later formed a tropical depression in the eastern Gulf, Bloomberg News reported.

    ExxonMobil removed approximately 200 employees from the Gulf and Mobile Bay, and cut 23,000 barrels of daily oil production and 200 million cubic feet of daily natural-gas output, Margaret Ross told Bloomberg News in an e-mailed statement. Meanwhile, Chevron shut some oil and gas production in the Gulf, however, the amount could not be specified by spokeswoman Qiana Wilson, a separate Bloomberg News report stated. In addition, ConocoPhillips evacuated employees from its 33,000 barrel-per-day Louisiana coast Magnolia platform and closed its production, the report stated, citing the company's Web site.

    The storm came ashore ahead of forecasts, but before it had time to intensify. The remains of the storm passed over southern Mississippi yesterday, the report stated, citing the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center's morning update.

    The storm halted 58.3 percent of Gulf crude-oil output and 25.2 percent of gas production, according to a survey of producers by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the report stated. Workers were evacuated from 100 of 834 manned platforms and 14 of 89 rigs, according to the survey cited by Bloomberg News.

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