UPDATE 1-Gulf of Mexico oil, gas facilities shut by Ida

Mon Nov 9, 2009 12:26pm EST

(Recasts, adds refineries normal, LOOP details, major actions)

HOUSTON Nov 9 (Reuters) - Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas companies shut offshore production on Monday, and a major gas hub was closed as Tropical Storm Ida churned toward landfall between the states of Mississippi and Florida.

Refineries have not curtailed operations due to the storm, which weakened on Tuesday from a category 2 hurricane.

The Independence natural gas hub -- the largest gas processing facility in the Gulf -- was shut down by the storm, Enterprise Partners LP (EPD.N) said. [ID:nN09254274]

The company also said the Viosca Knoll and West Delta 68 platforms had been shut in. (For a list of operations shut over the weekend, click [ID:nN09212389]

The giant Louisiana Offshore Oil Port suspended tanker offloadings over the weekend. The LOOP continued to receive oil via pipeline from the Thunder Horse and Mars platforms while shipping oil to refineries through underground pipes. (For a graphic on the Hurricane Ida's projected path, click: here)

The Gulf is the source of 25 percent of U.S. domestically produced oil and 15 percent of natural gas. About 40 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located on the Gulf Coast.

The storm threat helped push up oil prices by more than $1.70 to over $79 a barrel in early U.S. trading.

Ship traffic along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico was also shut down, the U.S. Coast Guard said. [ID:nN09219613]

BP (BP.L), Marathon (MRO.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) said on Sunday they had shut in some production, while several other companies said they were evacuating some personnel but had not curtailed output.

Chevron said the Blind Faith, Tahiti and Petronius platforms in the Gulf were shut ahead of the storm.

Transocean Ltd (RIG.N) said a semsubmersible drilling rig was evacuated and shut down by the storm.

Shell (RDSa.L) some of its Gulf output was curtailed by third-party shutdowns.

Refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, including Chalmette, Motiva's Norco refinery, and Chevron's Pascagoula, were watching the storm but operating normally. They had taken preliminary steps to ready for possible high winds. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols, Kristen Hays and Erwin Seba in Houston, Janet McGurty in Toronto, Joshua Schneyer, Edward McAllister and Matthew Robinson in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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