Hurricane Ike to Enter GOM

Weather authorities warn that Hurricane Ike will enter the Gulf of Mexico next week. Currently a Category 3 hurricane, Ike is expected to travel southwest, diverting from its previous path, and enter the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Florida Keys.

"Essentially, the sales are now tipping strongly toward a Gulf hit late next week, along with the attending threat to the energy production region," state Jim Rouiller, a weather forecaster with Planalytics Inc.

With sustained winds of 120 mph, Hurricane Ike is currently located north of the Leeward Islands and east-northeast of Grand Turk Island at Latitude 13.2 North and Longitude 62.7 West. The national huricane Center forecasts that the storm is "expected to be a major hurricane in a couple of days."

Dow Jones reports that energy traders have been keeping a watchful eye on Ike "for possible threats to US energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico." According to the MMS, 90.5% of the oil production and 79.8% of the natural gas production remains shut in from Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall in Louisiana earlier this week.

Read more on preparations for Hurricane Ike in Rigzone's Special Coverage Preparing for Ike to Strike.
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