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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 10:57 GMT
Cyclone cuts Australia oil output
Woodside's Ocean Legend platform
Production in the Legendre field is due to resume later this week
Australia's first tropical storm of the season, Cyclone Isobel, has hit oil production in the country.

The cyclone prevented at least 162,000 barrels per day (bpd) of offshore oil output, but operators said the disruption would not last long.

Firms Woodside Petroleum and Santos said they planned to resume operations after the cyclone passed the coast.

Woodside halted production from its Cossack Pioneer field and Legendre field off the Western Australia coast.

Santos said it had shut production at its Mutineer-Exeter field, which was producing 55,000 bpd at the end of the third quarter of 2006.

Meanwhile, world oil prices fell towards $60 a barrel as mild weather in the north-east US cut demand for fuel in the world's biggest heating oil market.

US crude was at $60.45 a barrel, after closing on Friday - the last trading day of 2006 - at $61.05.

Resumption planned

Woodside said that the 100,000-bpd Cossack Pioneer field was set to resume full production on Thursday.

Operations at the 7,000-bpd Legendre field, in which firms Apache and Santos also have stakes, are expected to resume later in the week, Woodside added.

Cyclone Isobel is rated as a category one storm, the lowest in a five-point scale, and has winds of up to 100 kmh (62 mph) near its centre.

In March, Cyclone Glenda, a category four storm, forced oil and gas fields to shut down after hitting north-west Australia.

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31 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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20 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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