UPDATE 4-Chevron oil platform restarts, inspectors to visit

Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:44pm EST

Related Topics

* Eugene Island platform shut briefly on Monday

* Outage was brief at 17,000 bpd platform-Source

* NRC filing citing fire on platform was wrong-Chevron

* Federal regulators to investigate platform event

(Adds offshore regulator plans, details.)

By Janet McGurty and Joshua Schneyer

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Chevron (CVX.N) quickly restored oil output at a U.S. Gulf of Mexico platform after an incident caused a brief shutdown on Monday, the company said on Tuesday.

The platform, which pumps Eugene Island crude, was shut down for an hour on Monday, Chevron spokesman Scott Walker said without offering details on what caused the outage.

A National Response Center filing on Tuesday said the platform -- which pumps about 17,000 barrels per day according to an industry source -- was idled Monday after an upset.

Walker said there was no fire on the platform. One NRC filing about the event inaccurately cited a fire, he said.

Offshore inspectors from the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plan to fly to the platform and investigate the event as soon as weather permits, a source familiar said.

A tiny oil spill, of a fraction of a gallon, resulted from the platform upset on Monday, the company said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the platform had scheduled flaring for Monday, but didn't offer further details. [ID:nN11134468]

Several oil platforms feed what is known as the Eugene Island Pipeline System, operated by Shell (RDSa.L), with capacity to transport up to 173,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Shell declined comment on whether pipeline flows had been affected.

The platform was shut late Monday afternoon after wells in the offshore area did not properly shut down, according to the NRC filing.

News of the incident was one of several factors that helped to push up U.S. crude oil prices on Tuesday. The market was already on edge due to supply concerns following the shutdown of the Trans Alaska Pipeline over the weekend. [ID:nN11117795]

U.S. crude oil futures closed up $1.86 a barrel at $91.11 a barrel, after rising as high as $91.33 earlier. [O/R] (Reporting by Janet McGurty, Jeanine Prezioso and Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Jim Marshall)

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