Woodside shuts in Vincent oil field off W. Australia

Woodside Petroleum's Vincent oil field off Western Australia may be shut in for months following the issue of a NOPSA prohibition notice as a result of a fire on the Maersk Ngujima-Yin FPSO, now on location.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Apr. 23 -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd.'s Vincent oil field off Western Australia may be shut in for months following the issue of a National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) prohibition notice as a result of a fire on the Maersk Ngujima-Yin floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, now on location.

The Apr. 13 fire caused extensive damage to the high-pressure gas compression process module and may have affected other critical safety systems on the floating facility. NOPSA's notice prevents restart of production until the authority is satisfied the damage has been repaired and no longer poses a risk to safe operations.

Woodside has not revealed details of the damage or the repair schedule, but it is thought the FPSO may require dry-docking. Reports are that the fire began in a gas turbine compressor.

Vincent field came on stream in August 2008 and was flowing 35,800 b/d prior to the incident. The field, discovered in 1998, has estimated reserves of 73 million bbl.

Woodside is operator of Vincent field and holds 60% interest. Japan's Mitsui holds the remainder.

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