THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell: 140,000 B/D Draugen Field May Shut Fri On Damage: “Royal Dutch/Shell's (RD) 140,000 barrel Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea may be shut down Friday if continuing bad weather doesn't allow necessary repairs to the platform, the company said Thursday.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 7 Jan 05
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
OSLO -- Royal Dutch/Shell's (RD) 140,000 barrel Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea may be shut down Friday if continuing bad weather doesn't allow necessary repairs to the platform, the company said Thursday.
Shell reduced production at the field to 75,000 b/d Tuesday after crude oil loading equipment was damaged in bad weather.
A spokesman said there was small possibility that the minor repair work needed to fix the loading equipment could be made Friday, but if not, the platform would have to shut down production.
"(Crude storage) is starting to get filled up, and we might have to shut down," Svein Ildgruben told Dow Jones Newswires.
Ildgruben said once the minor repairs were done - replacement parts are already on the platform - a loading ship was standing by and production could return to normal.
If the weather didn't create a window of opportunity Friday, the spokesman said the next forecast opportunity wouldn't be until Tuesday.
Norway's Meteorological Office forecasts continuing Force 6-8 gales through next Thursday.
In a separate incident, around 205,000 b/d remains shut in at Statoil ASA's (STO) Snorre-A and Vigdis field following a gas leak late November. Poor weather is also hindering required startup inspections. Statoil had planned to have both fields producing by the end of December.
The Petroleum Safety Authority said earlier Thursday it doesn't expect even a limited startup until at least next week.
Traders said both Statoil's and Shell's problems contributed to a nearly 5% rise in front-month Brent prices, trading at $42.60 a barrel around 1545 GMT.
-by Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires, (47) 22 20 10 58; email@example.com
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