The Atlantic basin will see the most named storms since the 2012season, the year Sandy crippled the U.S. East Coast, with five toeight of those strengthening into hurricanes by Nov. 30, theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

NOAA increased its outlook to 12 to 17 named storms with windsof at least 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour in thetropical Atlantic after the end of El Nino, which can produce windsthat damage systems, according to an updated forecast releasedThursday. Two to four storms could grow into major hurricanes withwinds of at least 111 miles per hour.

Atlantic storms can threaten the Gulf of Mexico, where about 5%of the U.S. marketed natural gas production is produced along with17% of crude oil, according to the Energy InformationAdministration. The Gulf region also is home to more than 45% ofpetroleum refining capacity and 51% of gas processing.

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