October 6, 2008 / 10:09 PM / 10 years ago

Tropical storm Marco forms near Mexico oil fields

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Marco formed on Monday in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of Mexico’s main oil production facilities but the country’s three main oil exporting ports remained open.

The small 100 km (60 mile) diameter storm, which brewed up quickly on Monday, was 185 km (115 miles) east of the city of Veracruz as of 1800 GMT, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Marco could possibly reach hurricane strength before making an expected landfall late on Monday or early Tuesday morning.

The Mexican government has issued a hurricane watch for the country’s eastern coast between Cabo Rojo and Veracruz, the NHC said.

State oil company Pemex had no immediate comment on the possible impact the storm had on its operations. The Mexican government reported that all three main oil exporting ports on the Gulf of Mexico were open as of Monday afternoon.

Mexico reduced oil production by 250,000 barrels per day on September 24 due to refinery outages in the United States caused by Hurricane Ike. Weather-related disruptions to shipping have prevented state oil company Pemex from boosting output since then.

Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by Christian Wiessner

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