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Petrobras Halts P-40 Platform Output after Gas Leak

Source: Reuters 6/15/2015, Location: South America

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA halted production from its P-40 platform in the offshore Marlim Sul field after a gas leak on the vessel, an oil workers' union and the country's petroleum regulator said. Petrobras, as the company is known, confirmed the leak later on Monday.

The P-40, a semi-submersible production platform, was producing about 45,915 barrels of oil and 800,000 cubic meters of natural gas a day when it was shut down, the union said on its website.

The regulator, known as the ANP, confirmed the shutdown in a statement, adding that no oil or gas was leaked into the ocean.

Petrobras said in a statement that the leak was quickly controlled and that production was in the process of being normalized. The company did not say how long production had been halted for.

The P-40, located about 175 kilometers (109 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, is at the hub of a network of five platforms in Marlim Sul and at the center of Brazil's oil and gas pipelines that interlink undersea natural gas pipelines into a single export line to the coast.

The platform is also linked to an undersea pipeline system that exports oil from the neighboring Marlim field.

The shutdown is the latest in a series of accidents and problems at Petrobras' offshore platforms.

It is the second in less than a month at Marlim Sul, which produced 164,000 barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent in April from several platforms, according to Brazil's oil regulator ANP. Marlim Sul was the sixth-largest producing field in the country in April.

The latest problems come a little more than four months after an explosion at a Petrobras offshore field off Espirito Santo state killed nine people and injured 26. Safety problems in March also forced the temporary shutdown of the P-58 platform in Petrobras' Parque das Baleias field.

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