Fire at Longford Processing Plant in Australia Extinguished

Esso Australia said gas production has re-started on a limited basis at its Longford processing plant in southern Victoria state after a fire broke out early on Monday. An investigation in to the cause of the fire is underway.

The company shut all Bass Strait oil and gas production after an electrical fire at the plant's switchroom around 2 a.m.. There were no injuries and the fire has been extinguished.

Gas production on a reduced basis has been re-started, however, there is no time frame for when oil production will resume.

Esso said the plant was producing 600 million cubic feet (16.99 million cubic meters) of gas per day and 120,000 barrels of oil per day before the shutdown.

Partners is the Bass Strait Venture are ExxonMobil as operator with 50% and BHP with the other 50%. The Bass Strait venture offshore Victoria is owned 50:50 by U.S.-based ExxonMobil, the operator, and BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc (BHP.AX) (BLT.L). The venture supplies most of the natural gas used in Victoria.