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CANCUN Mexico (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Alex gained speed as it approached Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where it was expected to make landfall Saturday night before heading into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Alex was not an imminent threat to oil-siphoning efforts at BP Plc's blown-out Macondo well in the Gulf, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Current forecasts project Alex will emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and make landfall again as a minimal hurricane later in the week between Brownsville, Texas, and Tuxpan de Rodriguez Cano, Mexico, sparing BP spill collection efforts.

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