Tim Wall, managing director of Apache Northwest, said: Our estimated timetable is to restore gross production at a rate of 180 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day through the East Spar joint venture processing facilities by August 15, 2008, ramping up to 315MMcf per day in December 2008 as the Harriet joint venture facilities are returned to production.

The East Spar JV facilities are located far from the rupture and sustained less damage. Export pipelines and associated valves, two compressors, instrumentation and control facilities are being repaired to meet the timetable of restoring production by mid-August 2008.

The Harriet JV processing facilities are located adjacent to the rupture and will require significant repairs to meet the goal of restoring production in December. Damage occurred at three sales gas compressors, the hot oil system, control system and flare stacks. In addition, evaluation of damage to several processing vessels is continuing.

Prior to the incident, total production through Varanus Island, which is located approximately 100km from Karratha on Australia’s Northwest Shelf, was 315MMcf per day. Apache has a 68.5% interest in the Harriet JV and a 55% interest in the East Spar JV.