Hurricane Ida was off the western tip of Cuba on Friday and moving toward the Gulf of Mexico at about 15 miles (24 km) per hour (mph). It is expected to become a major hurricane over the weekend and strike the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to National Hurricane Center forecasts.
Oil and gas companies evacuated 89 platforms and one rig in preparation, shutting in production ahead of the storm’s arrival They also moved 11 drill vessels out of harm’s way by midday Friday, the offshore regulator said.
Energy producers also cut 1.09 million cubic feet of natural gas production, or 49% of their output, according to the BSEE.
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico accounts for roughly 17% of the nation’s oil production and 5% of its dry gas production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
U.S. crude prices settled 2% higher on Friday at $68.74 a barrel due to supply fears surrounding the storm.