Oil giants Shell and BP said Monday they were evacuating workers from platforms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Ivan.
"We will complete the evacuation of all personnel from our eastern Gulf of Mexico operations by the end of today," a Shell spokesman said.
"Production facilities in this area will be shut in," he added.
The six Shell production sites affected have a daily production capacity of 272,000 barrels of crude oil and 23 million cubic metres of gas, the spokesman said.
BP began pulling some staff from facilities in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.
"BP is currently evacuating all non-essential personnel on the off-shore facilities throughout the eastern Gulf," a spokeswoman said in a pre-recorded message dated Sunday.
"However, there has been no impact on production," she added. There was no immediate update on how many workers had been evacuated.
Hurricane Ivan headed towards Cuba early Monday after wreaking havoc in the Cayman Islands, leaving at least 46 dead in its rampage across the Caribbean.
Forecasters said its centre of the storm could miss the western tip of Cuba and move near the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, which issued a hurricane warning.
The price of benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in October surged 1.05 dollars to 41.25 dollars a barrel in afternoon trading.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.