Woodside shuts in Pluto after rig drifts near flowlines

Woodside Petroleum has temporarily shut-in production at its Pluto LNG Plant in Western Australia.

“This precautionary action was taken after a submersible drilling rig under contract to another party drifted near Pluto flowlines,” Woodside said in the statement.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the rig in question is a semi-submersible Atwood Osprey that was torn from its moorings during Cyclone Olwyn and drifted close to flowlines at the offshore field.

The rig, owned by Atwood Oceanics, is under contract with Chevron until May 2017.

Woodside notes that underwater inspections have confirmed the integrity of the flowlines. Furthermore, production will be restarted when the rig has been relocated away from Pluto infrastructure.

The company said that further advice on the re-start of production will be provided in due course.

Offshore Energy Today contacted the owner of the rig, Atwood Oceanics, and Chevron inquiring into details of the event. Should there be any additional info, the article will be updated accordingly.

Update: March 16, 2015; 14:25 CET

Atwood Oceanics has confirmed that its semi-submersible drilling unit, the Atwood Osprey, parted several mooring lines and drifted approximately three nautical miles from its original position during Cyclone Olwyn, which impacted the northwest coast of Australia on March 12, 2015.

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. No rig personnel were injured in the event.

The Atwood Osprey is contracted to Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd. and was on location at the Iago 1B well. The well had been shut down and secured in accordance with Chevron’s cyclone demobilization procedures and the rig had ballasted down and evacuated all its rig personnel in advance of the cyclone. Atwood Oceanics says it is coordinating its efforts with Chevron, the Australian offshore regulator (NOPSEMA) and other affected parties.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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