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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell's Draugen May Be Shut Rest Of Wk-Norway Govt ( 8 march 05




OSLO -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group's (RD,SC) 140,000-barrel-a-day Draugen oil field in the Norwegian Sea will likely remain closed for at least the rest of the week, a government official said Tuesday.


A Shell spokesman confirmed the platform was shut down last Friday following the discovery a condensate leak.


An official at the government's Petroleum Safety Authority said Shell had found some corrosion on the platform's reboiler system, "and that's the reason why they had to shut down."


The official said, "They'll probably be closed all week, but it depends on what they find."


A second Shell spokesperson, Kitty Eide, said repair work had begun, but wouldn't say how long it would take or when production would begin again.


"We have not yet determined when production can be resumed...hopefully it's not a serious problem," she said.


The condensate leak, she added, was minor.


A spokeswoman from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate - an administrative arm of the government - said Shell was "going through the entire system to check for any other problems before they start up again."


"We're talking about days, not weeks or months," the spokeswoman said, adding that there "was no reason to believe" that any other problems would be found.


-By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; +47 22 20 10 58; 

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