Hurricane Nate had curtailed 92 percent of US Gulf of Mexico oil output and up to 3 percent of refining capacity as of Saturday afternoon as it sped toward energy facilities in the central US Gulf Coast that largely were spared by Hurricane Harvey's wrath nearly six weeks ago.
The fast-moving storm has forced evacuations at more than 300 US Gulf of Mexico offshore platforms, far more than the number affected by Harvey, which packed more of a punch when it hit the Texas coast.
Nate could become a Category 2 storm, the second-weakest on a five-category scale used by meteorologists, with winds of up to 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour) before landfall later on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Its track takes it closer to offshore production unlike Harvey, whose impact was greatest on refining centers. On Saturday, some 1.6 million barrels per day of oil and 2.48 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas output were halted by the storm, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported.