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AFX News Limited: BP, Shell evacuate Gulf of Mexico staff as Hurricane Rita nears: Wednesday 21 Sept 2005


LONDON (AFX) - BP PLC and the Royal Dutch Shell PLC have started evacuating their workers in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Rita approaches the oil refining region.


BP said it has removed half of its 1,500 employees working at its offshore facilities in the eastern and central parts of the Gulf.


'We have evacuated all non-essential personnel to ensure their safety,' said a BP spokeswoman.


Shell, meanwhile, said it has so far removed about 545 staff from its platforms.


Rita, which reached hurricane status on Tuesday, continued to gather strength as it heads towards the oil-rich US Gulf coast.





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