Monday, June 1, 2009

Australian state to sue Apache over gas blast at Varanus Island

PERTH - The government of the state of West Australia will prosecute U.S. oil and gas producer Apache Energy Ltd for failing to maintain and repair a gas pipeline that exploded in 2008.
Apache says it will vigorously defend itself against the charges.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore on May 28 announced the government had started proceedings to prosecute Apache Northwest Pty Ltd and its co-licensees, Kuwait's Kufpec Australia Pty Ltd and Tap Harriet Pty Ltd, over the incident.
The blast in June 2008 at Apache's Varanus Island gas plant, off Western Australia's Pilbara coast, slashed the state's gas supply by one-third.
A charge filed on March 27 in the WA Federal Court alleges the companies had not maintained the pipeline in good condition and repair as required under the Petroleum Pipelines Act, Moore said.
"It is alleged that the 12-inch sales gas pipeline was corroded in the area of the pipeline rupture which occurred at the pipeline beach crossing on Varanus Island on June 3 last year," he said in a statement.

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