Fire and explosion racks liquids pumping station in South Australia

The South Australian Cooper Basin Producers joint venture has suspended oil production because an explosion and fire racked a liquids pumping station at the Moomba gas-processing complex, Santos Ltd. reported Monday. The Saturday accident killed one worker and left the liquids processing plant inoperable.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, June 18 -- The South Australian Cooper Basin Producers joint venture has suspended oil production because an explosion and fire racked a liquids pumping station at the Moomba gas-processing complex, Santos Ltd. reported Monday.

Santos Managing Director John Ellice-Flint said the Saturday accident killed one worker.

The incident has not directly affected gas production and processing facilities.

Left inoperable after the accident, the liquids pumping station normally transports 30,000-40,000 b/d of crude and petroleum liquids from the Moomba plant to Pt. Bonython near Whyalla. Moomba is the heart of oil and gas production facilities in South Australia's Cooper-Eromanga basin.

Santos is assessing the extent of damages to the liquids pumping station and trying to determine how long repairs might take. Insurance will cover property damage and business interruption expenses, the company said.

Cause of the incident has not yet been determined. Santos is working with government authorities in the investigation.

Condensate is being produced and stored at Moomba. LPG is being redirected to the gas supply or is being flared. The supply of ethane to Qenos plant in Botany was initially shut down, but work is under way to resume partial production in the next day or so. Qenos is a joint venture of chemical company Orica Ltd. and ExxonMobil Corp.

Santos Group operates the South Australian Cooper Basin Producers with 59.75% interest. Other participants are Delhi Petroleum Pty. Ltd., 20.21%; Origin Energy Resources Ltd., 13.19%; Novus Australia Resources NL, 4.75%; Basin Oil Pty. Ltd. (OMV Aust Pty. Ltd.) 2.10%.

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