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Woodside Shuts Offshore Australia Oil Output as Cyclone Develops

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. shut production at its Vincent oil field because of a cyclone developing off the coast of Australia.

“In response to the tropical low, Woodside has shut in production from the Vincent oil field off the North West Cape,” Laura Lunt, a Woodside spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. The site produced more than 40,000 barrels a day of oil during the fourth quarter, according to Woodside’s most recent production report on its website.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said earlier today that a tropical low off the north-west coast of Australia may develop into a cyclone and strengthen to a Category 2 storm by Jan. 26. “The low is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone overnight as it slows and begins to move towards the south or southeast, bringing it closer to the coast,” the bureau said on its website.

Woodside also operates the North West Shelf oil and gas production facilities. Other offshore fields in the area include BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Pyrenees and Apache Corp.’s Van Gogh. BHP is “monitoring the situation for extreme weather conditions,” said spokesman Antonios Papaspiropoulos by phone today. Apache did not respond to e-mail and phone calls requesting comment.

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