Philippines' Galoc field halts output due to typhoon

MANILA Thu May 7, 2009 7:00am EDT

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MANILA May 7 (Reuters) - Production at the Philippines' Galoc oilfield has been temporarily halted as Typhoon Chan-Hom heads for the Southeast Asian nation, a shareholder said on Thursday.

Manila-listed Philodrill Corp (OV.PS) said it was advised by Galoc Production Company (GPC), the operator of the Galoc field, that Chan-Hom was passing 300 nautical miles north of the field.

GPC also advised production was temporarily shut-in and preliminary preparations were being made to disconnect the Floating and Production Storage and Offloading facility, if necessary, Philodrill told the Philippine stock exchange.

Chan-Hom, which developed into a typhoon as it entered Philippine seas, was 200 kms (124 miles) northwest of the main Luzon island and was moving northeast slowly with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the centre and gusts of up to 185 kph, the local weather bureau said.

(For full report click on www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph)

Galoc, off Palawan island southwest of the capital, came onstream in October. It was shut down in mid-December for inspection after production problems largely due to bad weather. Output resumed on Feb. 25.

Production reached 1 million barrels in March.

GPC, in which European trade Vitol has a 68.6 percent stake and Australian oil firm Otto Energy (OEL.AX) a 31.4 percent interest, is the operator of the Galoc field with a 58.29 percent share.

The remaining 41.71 percent is split between Nido Petroleum (NDO.AX), with 22.28 percent, and several Philippine partners including Philodrill. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)

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