|Emily Heads for the Yucatan Peninsula|
Hurricane Emily—a category 4 storm with sustained winds near 145 mph—may have veered away from the US oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is forcing Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) to shut offshore fields that pump more than three-quarters of its oil as workers evacuate.
During the beginning of the evacuation yesterday, the pilot and co-pilot of a helicopter were killed when their craft crashed into the Gulf. The evacuation of a total of 15,530 workers is using the logistical support of 45 ships and 26 helicopters.
Mexico is one of the top two (with Canada) sources of oil for the US, providing some 1.75 million barrels per day in May 2005, according to the EIA.
The shut-in fields in the Campeche Sound region include the Cantarell (earlier post) and Ku-Maloob-Zaap fields. The region produced an average 2.79 million barrels per day in the first five months of the year, or 83 percent of Pemex's total.