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Most U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore crude oil shut for a third day

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore oil output on Saturday was down by 1.69 million barrels, or 92% of the region’s daily production, the U.S. Department of Interior reported, as offshore wells remained closed after Hurricane Delta tore through the area.

Producers had evacuated staff from 283 platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as of midday on Saturday. Producers halted some 62% of offshore natural gas production, or 1.69 billion cubic feet per day, Interior Department figures showed.

The oil and gas figures have been nearly identical for the last three days in a row.

Cumulative volumes shut-in by Hurricane Delta this week, according to company reports to the U.S. government, amount to 7.11 million barrels of oil and 6.62 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Chris Reese