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Cyclone Lua Forces Santos to Stop Mutineer-Exeter Field Production

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PERTH -- Australia's Santos said Friday that it has shut down production at its Mutineer-Exeter oil field due to Severe Tropical Cyclone Lua, which is expected to threaten the Pilbara coastline of Western Australia this weekend.

Mutineer-Exeter's floating production storage and offloading vessel was disconnected Thursday evening and has been sailing to avoid the cyclone since then, a Santos spokesman said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Woodside Petroleum halted production at its four North West Shelf oil fields, while Apache stopped production at its offshore Stag oil field due to the approach of Lua.

Lua is expected to cross the coast Saturday, with winds in excess of 125 miles (200 kilometers) an hour near the cyclone center, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on its website.

Santos owns 33.4 percent of Mutineer-Exeter, which produced 244,000 barrels of oil in the three months to Dec. 31. It is also the field's operator.

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