Posted by Big Gav in varanus island
The West Australian government will prosecute oil and gas producer Apache Energy for failing to maintain and repair a gas pipeline that exploded last year.
The blast in June last year at Apache's Varanus Island gas plant, off the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, cut the state's gas supply by one-third.
WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore on Thursday announced the government had started proceedings to prosecute Apache Energy's wholly owned subsidiary Apache Northwest and its co-licensees in relation to the Varanus Island incident.
A charge filed in the Federal Court on Wednesday alleged Apache Northwest and the co-licensees did not maintain the pipeline in good condition and repair as required under the petroleum pipelines act, Mr 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," Mr Moore said in a statement.
Mr Moore said the charge followed an investigation by the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum after the release of the initial investigation report by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority last year.
The NOPSA report into the blast found the US energy giant had failed to effectively maintain pipelines, which led to the explosion.
The ensuing gas shortage played havoc with Apache's industrial customers, cutting the state's business production forecast by about $6.7 billion during the September quarter alone, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.