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Oil producers cut 84% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico output: U.S. regulator

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centenario deep-water oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Veracruz, Mexico January 17, 2014. Picture taken January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Henry Romero

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oil producers cut 1.56 million barrels per day, or 84% of the daily output, from U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico wells ahead of a hurricane due this week, the Department of the Interior reported on Tuesday.

Hurricane Laura is moving up the central U.S. Gulf of Mexico and expected to become a major hurricane with 115 mile per hour (185 km/h) by landfall on Thursday. Energy producers evacuated 299 production platforms and 11 drilling rigs as of midday Tuesday, according to offshore regulators.

Well shut-ins also cut 1.65 billion cubic feet, or 61%, of natural gas production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, regulators said.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams, Editing by Franklin Paul

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