Royal Dutch Shell begin evacuating some of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms

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HOUSTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc halted some oil production and began evacuating workers from a U.S. Gulf of Mexico platform, the company said on Friday, as a new tropical storm flared.

Beta, the 23rd named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed in the Bay of Campeche and was forecast to strengthen steadily and become a hurricane by Sunday off the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

Shell said it was removing non-essential employees from its Perdido platform in the western Gulf of Mexico and securing nearby drilling rigs. Occidental Petroleum Corp, which operates in the same area, also began implementing storm procedures, it said.