Pipeline repairs to shut in Point Pedernales field off California

Nuevo Energy Co. plans to suspend oil production from Point Pedernales field to replace five flanges on the 20-in. pipeline between Platform Irene and an onshore processing plant. Production is about 5,000 b/d net to Nuevo. It has an 80% working interest and Mission Energy Co. has 20%.

HOUSTON, Sept. 19 -- Nuevo Energy Co. plans to suspend oil production from Point Pedernales field to replace five flanges on the 20-in. pipeline between Platform Irene and an onshore processing plant.

Production is about 5,000 b/d net to Nuevo. It has an 80% working interest and Mission Energy Co. has 20%. Platform Irene is 4.5 miles off northern Santa Barbara County near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Nuevo said an annual ultrasonic and magnetic particle subsea pipeline inspection detected small cracks in some flanges. Although there have been no leaks, the company decided to shut down operations.

Phillip Gobe, Nuevo's interim president and CEO, said, "Since acquiring our California assets, we have invested a considerable amount of capital in a state-of-the-art pipeline inspection program. Replacing those flanges is consistent with our commitment to maintain best industry practices and assure the continuance of safe, clean operations."

The company expects repairs to be completed by yearend.

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