Cyclone Halts Production Offshore Western Australia

ChevronTexaco, Apache Corp., BHP Billiton and Woodside Petroleum have shut down some production due to Cyclone Inigo offshore northwest Australia.

The Varanus Island, Thevenard Island, Barrow Island, Griffin, Stag and Cossack Pioneer production plants have been shut down as Cyclone Inigo moves towards the Pilbara coast, approximately 937 miles north of Perth.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast the weakening Cyclone Inigo to reach the coast on Tuesday with wind gusts hitting 81 miles per hour.

Woodside said it stopped production from its floating Cossack Pioneer facility, which was producing 115,000 barrels per day (bpd), on Monday, but had not yet disconnected the vessel. However, Woodside said production at the North Rankin A platform, the hub of the North West Shelf's offshore gas and condensate production operations, and Goodwyn A platform had not been affected. The shutdown of Cossack Pioneer is unlikely to impact any shipments.

Apache said it had shut down Varanus Island, which had been producing between 35,000 and 40,000 barrels per day (bpd), on Sunday morning, while its Stag oil field, which was producing 15,000 bpd, was shutdown on Monday. Bruce Lake, Australian operations manager for Apache, said the cyclone was due to pass the area on Tuesday and that oil production was expected to begin again on Wednesday, causing a delay of a few days to one oil shipment from Varanus Island.

BHP Billiton disconnected its floating production facility at the Griffin oil field, which had been producing 30,000 bpd, on Saturday and said it was difficult to predict whether there would be any impact on shipments.

ChevronTexaco said it had shut down oil production at its Barrow Island and Thevenard Island facilities, which had been producing 10,000 bpd and 6,000 bpd respectively, on Sunday and that it was unlikely to cause any delay to deliveries.