Drifting rig causes shut-in


By Courtney Pearson

CYCLONE Olwyn took its toll on North West WA oil and gas projects, with a drifting drill rig causing a shut-in at Woodside’s $15 billion Pluto LNG project.

Woodside took the precautionary measures after wild weather caused 12 mooring lines to snap on the rig, which drifted 5.5km from Chevron’s Iago 1B well site at the Wheatstone development.

Woodside announced that production at the Pluto project, which is 190km north-west of Karratha, had restarted following “the precautionary action to shut-in production after a submersible drilling rig under contract to another party drifted near Pluto flowlines”.

Rig owner Atwood Oceanics said the Osprey rig had been moved clear of Pluto’s 500m exclusion zone around offshore Pluto infrastructure.

“The rig is currently stable with a support vessel in position, and preliminary results indicate minimal damage with an estimated maximum of 30 days out of service time for repairs,” the company said in a statement.

Woodside’s2015 production target range of between 84 and 91 million barrels of oil equivalent remains unchanged.

The Pluto LNG project is a joint venture between operator Woodside (90 per cent), Tokyo Gas (5 per cent) and Kansai Electric (5 per cent). The offshore platform is in 85m of water and connected to five subsea wells on the Pluto gas field.