Apache reports pipeline rupture, fire off Australia

There was a pipeline rupture and fire at Apache Corp.'s Varanus Island gas processing and transportation hub offshore Western Australia today, the company says.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- There was a pipeline rupture and fire at Apache Corp.'s Varanus Island gas processing and transportation hub offshore Western Australia today, the company says.

No one was injured and 153 people were evacuated following the onshore incident involving a pipeline transporting oil and gas from offshore production facilities to the island's processing facilities. Thirteen people remain on the island to monitor the situation. The incident occurred at 1:40 p.m. local time.

"Our priorities are the safety of our personnel; securing the facilities; assuring that the environmental impact is limited to the island; and resuming throughput of oil and gas production," says G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and CEO. "No one was injured, all personnel are safe, and the rupture and fire appear to be contained on the island.

"We will begin working as soon as possible to resume production in a safe and environmentally responsible manner," Farris said. "We have notified government authorities and also gas customers who will be affected by the disruption in gas supply. At this time, we cannot estimate when throughput will be resumed."

The island's operations account for approximately 330 MMcf/d of natural gas and 8,000 b/d of oil. Apache's net production flowing through the Varanus facility is approximately 200 MMcf/d and 5,000 b/d.

Varanus Island, 60 mi (100 km) from Karratha on Australia's Northwest Shelf, handles approximately 30% of Western Australia's domestic natural gas requirements.

06/03/2008

More in Pipelines