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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell's N Sea Brent Alpha Gas Platform Still Shut Down-Co ( Posted 19 April 05




LONDON -- The Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies' (RD, SC) Brent Alpha platform in the northern North Sea is still down after discovering pinhole leaks in pipework last Wednesday, a Shell spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.


She said that the "situation is currently unchanged" from Friday. She also said that there was no time table set for finishing the repairs, adding that gas would start flowing from the platform as soon as it was safe to do so.


Shell estimates that around 6 million cubic meters of gas a day are being deferred from the platform's northern and western legs as a result of the shutdown, while 2.5 mcm/d are being deferred from the Brent Alpha platform itself.


The leak has prevented a total of 8.5 mcm/d of gas from flowing into the St. Fergus terminal in Scotland.


A trader attached to a large European utility said news of the leak didn't have a major impact on gas prices over the past couple of days. Day-ahead gas prices rose about 2 pence to 34.5 pence a therm in early Monday morning trade due to a shortfall in the amount of gas in the system.


Trader suspected that "there are a few other problems" besides the Brent Alpha platform shutdown that could be contributing to a shortfall in supply.


-By Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9344;


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