Production Offshore Western Australia Halted by Monty

Cyclone Monty has interfered with produciton from six facilities offshore Western Australia. Approximately 190,000 barrels per day of production has been shut in. However, weather officials expect the storm to begin subsiding on Monday.

The biggest field affected by tropical cyclone Monty, with wind speeds of up to 124 miles per hour, is the Cossack Pioneer facility, operated by Woodside Petroleum and which normally produces around 120,000 bpd of oil.

Cossack was disconnected on Saturday and production was halted. Woodside is not sure when production will resume.

BHP Billiton also halted output at its floating production facility at the Griffin oil field. The field produces approximately 30,000 bpd.

Oil and gas majors routinely shut down or scale back production at their offshore facilities during the cyclone season, which typically runs from December to the end of April.

The storm began on Saturday and was downgraded from a category four to a category three earlier on Monday and is expected die down when it hits land. The cyclone was located 140 km offshore and heading toward the Pilbara coast -- around 1,500 km north of the Western Australia capital Perth.