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News articles on Oil and Gas Fields

TitlePublication and authorDate
Clough seals new contractsAAP27 July 2004
Woodside Won't Lift Stake in Timor Sea Oil FieldsBloomberg4 January 2005
Nexen Suspends Work on Timor Sea Oil Field Due to Bad WeatherBloomberg4 January 2005
Timor Sea oil leak discovered  3 February 2005
Govt considered spy probe oil platformAAP     16 February 2005

Clough seals new contracts

AAP, July 27, 2004 -- PERTH-based engineering firm, Clough Ltd today said it had tied up between $33 million and $39 million of oil and gas contracts in Australia, southeast Asia and Europe.

The deals include a $13-15 million contract with Nexus Petroleum Australia to decommission the Buffalo Field in the Timor Sea and a $7-10 million contract with Woodside Energy Ltd for subsea work at its Wanaea Cossack Lambert Hermes (WCLH) project on the North West Shelf.

Clough, one of Australia's largest multi-disciplinary engineering and construction groups, said its Indonesian subsidiary PT Petrosea and PT Clough had received a letter of award for a $US7 million contract with Kodeco for work in the Java Sea.

Meanwhile, Apache has awarded Clough UK Ltd a contract to perform repairs on its Forties Field Echo platform riser in the North Sea.

"These awards confirm the strength of the oil and gas market worldwide riding on the back of current high oil prices," Clough managing director David Singleton said.

"We see this market continuing to bear fruit for Clough for the forseeable future."

Mr Singleton said the contracts reflected Clough's strong focus on new business development and rebuilding its order book.

"The (WCLH) project is a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen Clough's long-standing relationship with Woodside and help secure future subsea work with them," he said.

At 1100 AEST Clough shares were one cent higher at 48 cents.

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Woodside Won't Lift Stake in Timor Sea Oil Fields

Jan. 4, 2005 (Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia's second-largest oil and gas company, decided not to increase its stake in two oil fields in the Timor Sea, clearing the way for the $150 million sale of an interest to Paladin Resources Plc.

Woodside was considering exercising a pre-emptive right to acquire BHP Billiton's stake in the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields, which BHP agreed to sell to Edinburgh-based Paladin. Woodside decided it was "comfortable" with its existing stake, said Rob Millhouse, a spokesman for the Perth-based company.

Paladin said Nov. 14 it would buy a 32.6 percent stake in Laminaria and 25 percent of Corallina, subject to pre-emptive rights held by Woodside and Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The fields reached peak production of 180,000 barrels a day in early 2000 and have since been in decline. Woodside owns 45 percent of Laminaria and half of Corallina.

"We haven't pre-empted," Millhouse said in an interview. "We're comfortable with our stake at present and we look forward to Paladin joining the joint venture."

Shares in Perth-based Woodside, which is 34 percent-owned by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, fell 11 cents, or 0.6 percent, to A$19.99 on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Shell also decided not to pre-empt the sale of BHP Billiton's stake in the fields to Paladin, said Ian Mackenzie, a Perth-based spokesman at Shell's Australian unit.

Output from the two fields has been reduced since Oct. 28 when an oil leak was spotted near the venture's Northern Endeavour production vessel. Production, which was initially reduced from 28,000 barrels a day to about 19,000 barrels a day, has since been increased to just more than 24,000 barrels a day, said Roger Martin, a spokesman at Woodside.

The venture is unlikely to be able to fully restore output at the fields until a repair can be carried out at one well at Laminaria in April, Martin said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reinie Booysen at

[A few months later, Woodside changed its mind and expanded its stake in Laminaria-Corallina. -- OilWeb]

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Nexen Suspends Work on Timor Sea Oil Field Due to Bad Weather

Jan. 4, 2005 (Bloomberg) -- Nexen Inc. suspended work on the decommissioning of a Timor Sea oil field because of rough seas caused by a cyclone. Fields off northwestern Australia operated by Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and BHP Billiton weren't affected.

Work on dismantling the Buffalo field was halted Dec. 31 because of waves of up to 3 meters caused by Tropical Cyclone Raymond and another tropical low in the Darwin region, said David Guise, project manager for the decommissioning at Calgary-based Nexen. The work should restart later today or tomorrow and is due for completion by the end of January, he said.

The cyclone, which has since been downgraded to a weaker weather system, was the first to pass northwestern Australia this season, which runs from November to April. About four cyclones are expected to form off the coast in 2004-05, the Bureau of Meteorology has said. Last year, cyclones caused the shutdown of fields off Western Australia operated by BHP Billiton, Woodside, Eni SpA, ChevronTexaco Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

The last oil was produced at Buffalo in late November using the Buffalo Venture production vessel. No equipment or employees had to be evacuated from the site, Guise said in an interview.

The tropical cyclone didn't affect oil production at the North West Shelf venture, said Amanda Lorrimar, senior corporate affairs adviser at Woodside, the venture's operator. Output at the Griffin oil venture also wasn't affected, said Tania Price, a spokeswoman at BHP Billiton in Melbourne.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reinie Booysen at .

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Timor Sea oil leak discovered

AAP, February 3, 2005

OIL and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd was investigating the cause of an oil leak at its Laminaria field in the Timor Sea, the company said today.

The leak was noticed on Tuesday, 18 January, and investigations had determined a problem with the flowline from the Laminaria 2 well, Woodside said.

The Laminaria 2 well, and other wells connected in the production system, were shut in shortly after the leak was noticed.

Woodside said it immediately notified government authorities and began investigating the cause and size of the leak.

The initial estimate put the size of the leak at about 300 barrels (50 cubic metres) of oil, although that might vary depending on the outcome of modelling, it said.

Laminaria oil is very light and rapidly evaporates from the sea surface.

A surface inspection two days later concluded the oil had already evaporated from the area.

Woodside said the incident was unrelated to a small leak of about seven cubic metres in October from the Laminaria 5 well, which also remains shut in.

Repairs to the Laminaria 5 well, which produces about 3000 barrels a day, are expected to be made in the second quarter of 2005.

The Laminaria 8 well, which had been producing about 6000 barrels a day and was shut in as a precaution on January18, would only be brought back on line when investigative work determined it was safe to do so, Woodside said.

It expected the investigation to be completed by the end of the month.

Resumption of production at Laminaria 2, which produces about 2000 barrels a day, depended on a full assessment of the flowline fault, the company said.

Production from the adjacent Corallina field, which is averaging 18,000 barrels a day, was unaffected.

The Laminaria and Corallina fields are 350km north of the Australian coast, and 150km south of East Timor.

Woodside holds a 44.9 per cent interest in, and is operator of, the Laminaria field, with Paladin Oil & Gas (Australia) holding 32.6 per cent and Shell Development (Australia) 22.5 per cent.

Woodside shares were down 28c at $20.47 by 1498 AEDT.

Australia's Woodside shuts 2 Laminaria wells

MELBOURNE, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum Ltd. , Australia's second biggest oil and gas producer, said on Thursday two wells from its Laminaria oil field in the Timor Sea had been temporarily shut down because of a flowline fault.

Perth-based Woodside said it was investigating the cause of the fault which resulted in an oil leak at the field. The company noticed the leak on Jan. 18.

"The Laminaria 8 well which had been producing about 6,000 barrels a day and was shut in as a precaution on 18 January, will only be brought back on line when investigative work determines it is safe to do so. This is expected to be completed by the end of the month," Woodside, which operates the field and owns a 44.9 percent stake, said in a statement.

The company said resumption of production at the other well, known as Laminaria 2 and which was producing about 2,000 barrels per day (bpd), depended on a full assessment of the fault.

Royal Dutch/Shell has a 22.5 percent stake in the field which lies 150 km (93 miles) south of East Timor. The other stakeholder is Paladin Resources Plc .

Woodside said output from the adjacent Corallina field, averaging 18,000 bpd, was not affected.

Woodside, 34 percent-owned by Royal Dutch/Shell, said the incident was unrelated to a small leak in October last year at the Laminaria 5 well which remains shut.

Repairs to Laminaria 5, which was producing around 3,000 bpd, are expected to be made in the second quarter.

Woodside shares fell 1.7 percent to A$20.40 by mid afternoon in a firmer overall market.

[The RDTL government wrote to Woodside asking for information.]

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Gov't considered spy probe oil platform

AAP, 16 February 2005

The federal government had considered turning an unmanned oil and gas platform in the Timor Sea into a spy probe, parliament has been told.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said his department had been briefed on a plan to lease the Buffalo platform in the Timor Sea, but had rejected the proposal.

"The Attorney-General's Department was briefed on a proposal for the Australian government to lease the Buffalo platform in the Timor Sea for an initial period of five years as a platform for radar and electro-optical systems to contribute to the surveillance of the oil and gas platforms in the Timor Sea," Mr Ruddock said in a written answer to a Labor question on notice.

Mr Ruddock said the estimated cost of the plan was $2.2 million over five years with the expectation the government would extend the lease.

The platform is 560km off Darwin and 290km from Kupang and rests in about 30 metres of water.

It has no accommodation, power source, fuel supplies or tanks for fuel or water.

Mr Ruddock said it would have cost at least $250,000 to upgrade it for maritime security.

"The proposed use of this platform was not considered to be cost-effective as radars could also be located on operating oil and gas platforms," he said.

Mr Ruddock also rejected suggestions the US and Qatar governments were considering similar plans to use platforms for security.

He said he had been advised by the US Department of Defence that no offshore platforms were being used for surveillance in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.

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