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Over two-thirds of offshore oil output remains shut in U.S. Gulf -regulator

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FILE PHOTO: The Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve is seen in an aerial photograph over Freeport, Texas

By Sabrina Valle and Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON (Reuters) -U.S. offshore oil companies restored almost 200,000 barrels of production on Friday, while most of the Gulf Coast crude output remained offline following Hurricane Ida, government data showed.

The storm hit the U.S. Gulf of Mexico almost two weeks ago, damaging infrastructure and removing more than 21 million barrels of production from the market.

Over two-thirds of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico's oil production, or 1.2 million barrels per day, were still shut as repair efforts dragged on, helping to support global oil prices.

Over 1.68 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas were also offline on Friday, while a total of 65 platforms and three rigs continue evacuated, said the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest U.S. privately owned deepwater crude terminal, has fully reopened its marine operations for imports and exports.

Pipeline operator Enbridge on Friday said its offshore assets were ready to operate once producers bring production back online.

Exxon Mobil Corp on Thursday sought another 1.5 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to feed its 520,000 barrels per day Baton Rouge refinery. The oil "will help us completely restore normal operations," said Julie King, a company spokesperson.

Chevron on Thursday said it has restored partial production at its Jack St. Malo and Blind Faith platforms.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Sabrina Valle; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Andrea Ricci)

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