As of Monday, August 27, 2012
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This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, August 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM EDT shows a swirl of clouds in the Gulf of Mexico associated with Tropical Storm Isaac as it moves toward the central Gulf Coast. The official NHC forecast continues to strengthen the storm into a hurricane before landfall Tuesday evening near New Orleans. Low lying areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have been evacuated, and the region is preparing for damaging wind, rain, and storm surge. A line of clouds stretching from Texas through the Northeast is associated with a cold front that is providing some rain in the Northeast. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. government says 78 percent of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been halted in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports about 1 million barrels per day of oil production has been stopped as companies have evacuated 346 offshore oil and gas production platforms. That's 17 percent of daily U.S. oil production and 6 percent of consumption.
The agency says 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas production is also affected. That's about 3 percent of daily U.S. production and consumption.
Production is expected to quickly resume after the storm passes. The price of U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 68 cents to $95.47 per barrel. Natural gas fell 5 cents to $2.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.