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HOUSTON, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices climbed nearly 2.5% on Wednesday as major oil producers shut in production and withdrew staff from offshore platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as a storm threatened oil-producing areas.
A low-pressure system moving westward across the northern U.S. Gulf of Mexico could form a tropical depression late on Wednesday or Thursday, with the potential to produce storm surge from Louisiana to the upper Texas coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and BHP Group Ltd were removing staff from 15 offshore energy platforms, according to company statements. Exxon Mobil Corp was "closely monitoring" the disturbance to determine whether its facilities may be affected, a spokeswoman said.
U.S. crude futures rose $1.41, or 2.4%, to $59.24 a barrel in early Wednesday trade. (Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; editing by Jonathan Oatis)