Oil and Gas

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Cargo loadings at Australia's North West Shelf project halted - sources

(Refiles to correct link to interactive map)

SINGAPORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Loading of cargoes from Australia’s North West Shelf (NWS) liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate project has been halted due to adverse weather, traders with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

It remains unclear when cargo loadings at the port of Dampier will resume, said one person familiar with the matter who is facing loading delays for a cargo of NWS condensate.

In an emailed statement, Pilbara Ports Authority - which manages ports in the area - said LNG cargo loadings are likely to have stopped “as at the ports of Ashburton and Dampier, the ports and anchorages continue to remain clear of vessels”.

The NWS project is operated by Australian firm Woodside Petroleum.

Woodside declined to comment on its loading operations, but said the company “is taking the necessary precautions to safeguard our people and assets”.

The loading delays are unlikely to have an immediate impact in LNG or condensate prices as adverse weather along the Australian coast is common in January and February, traders said.

The impact of such loading delays are minimal as producers can claim force majeure, a Singapore-based LNG trader said. “Also, demand is now quite weak,” the trader said.

NSW joint venture partners include BHP Billiton , BP, Chevron Corp, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsui & Co, and Royal Dutch Shell .

Reporting by Mark Tay; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell