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Gulf of Mexico Storm Cindy Disrupts Shipping, Crude Imports

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Tropical Storm Cindy has halted service at a major oil terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, prompted some evacuations at rigs and platforms and put states from Texas to Florida on notice for life-threatening floods.

Cindy was 200 miles (322 kilometers) southeast of Galveston, Texas, with top winds of 60 miles an hour early Wednesday. Its center is forecast to move inland over southeastern Texas or southwestern Louisiana Thursday, according to a U.S. National Hurricane Center advisory issued at 7 a.m. New York time.

The storm has triggered watches and warnings along the Texas-Louisiana coast including Galveston Bay, the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel and Sabine Pass, the site of the only active liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states. Pilots have stopped guiding ships into Sabine Pass, which also funnels traffic to the ports of Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas.

Storms in the Gulf can often roil energy markets because offshore rigs and platforms account for about 17 percent of U.S. crude oil output and 4.1 percent of gas production.

Vessel offloading at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port marine terminal was suspended. The rest of the company’s operations, including deliveries from its Clovelly, Louisiana, hub, were expected to continue, according to the company’s website.

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By Brian K Sullivan @ Bloomberg

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