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In the Gulf of Mexico, gathering strength hurricane Lee

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 2 — RIA Novosti, Yury Nikolayev. A tropical depression formed in the central Gulf of Mexico, moving slowly to the north-east and in the next 48 hours could turn into a hurricane, according to the National Center for monitoring hurricanes in Miami (Florida).

As predicted by meteorologists, the probability that the meteor reaches hurricane strength is 70%. According to the established order, if it happens, it will be given the name "Lee."

"The Hurricane, which will be named" Lee "can cause torrential tropical rains and flooding on the coast of Florida and Texas," — said the National Center for monitoring hurricanes.

Largest oil company BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp, the leading oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, have suspended their prey, and began evacuating staff on storm warning.

In the next few hours for them intend to join Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.

Mexican state oil company Pemex said its oil platforms located in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico, the danger does not threaten the operation and for oil will continue.

Gulf of Mexico produces about 30% of U.S. oil and 12% natural gas.

"Lee" will be the twelfth hurricane of the season in the Atlantic.

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One-third of production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico closed due to approaching tropical storm "Lee". According to the forecasts of the American Center for monitoring hurricanes, located in Miami (Florida), the storm reaches the coast of Louisiana on September 4. Currently, the maximum wind speed at its epicenter is 65 kilometers per hour. The epicenter of the elements is about 320 kilometers south-east of Cameron (Louisiana).

Evacuation of personnel from the platforms began Wednesday. To date, the corporation BP and Anadarko to stop all of its platforms and evacuated them to all employees. Shell has evacuated 500 workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the staff were evacuated from 169 of 617 production platforms and 16 of the 62 drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. According to experts, the stop of production facilities has led to a decline in average daily oil production in the region by 50 percent, natural gas — by 33 percent. Gulf of Mexico produces about 30 percent of U.S. oil and 12 percent natural gas.

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