Another offshore oil field operator today halted production form its Australian oil field. After Reuters informed earlier today that Apache had halted production from the Van Gogh offshore field ahead of the cyclone threat, reports have emerged that Woodside has shut production from the Vincent offshore field for the same reason.
“In response to the tropical low, Woodside has shut in production from the Vincent oil field off the North West Cape,” Woodside’s spokesperson said in an e-mail sent to Bloomberg.
According to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology a Tropical Low was located at 8 pm WST near 15.7S 108.0E, that is 950 km northwest of Exmouth, moving west at 10 kilometres per hour.
The low is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone overnight as it slows and begins to move to the south southeast, bringing it towards the coast. Gales are not expected in coastal communities on Thursday or Friday, however coastal communities near the North West Cape, including Coral Bay, Exmouth and Onslow may experience gales by early Saturday. Rainfall is likely to increase on Friday in coastal parts of the Pilbara and on the west coast north of Cape Cuvier.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall and abnormally large swells may be experienced near the West Kimberley and Pilbara coasts due to the influence of a strong monsoonal flow to the north east of the system.
The Vincent oil field, situated some 50 km North-West of Exmouth, started production in August 2008. The field was discovered in 1998 and has twelve development wells (eight bilateral and four trilateral). A thirteenth well (a trilateral) will be drilled in early 2013.
Offshore Energy Today Staff , January 25, 2012; Image: bom.gov.au