Australian operator Santos has shut down its John Brookes gas field offshore Western Australia after identifying a gas leak on the field’s subsea gas export pipeline.

The leak was observed during routine activities on the John Brookes offshore platform which is usually unmanned, Santos said on Tuesday.

The platform and pipeline were immediately shut down and depressurised, and all personnel were demobilised.

The pipeline carries gas from the field to the Varanus Island onshore gas processing facilities, and from there gas is distributed to the domestic market.

Santos said it has notified all relevant regulatory bodies and is working with its customers and other parties to manage gas supply arrangements while the leak is repaired.

“At this stage, it is expected repairs will take approximately four to six weeks to return to full production,” said the operator.

John Brookes is one of several fields operated by Santos that feed gas into the Varanus Island facility which has a capacity of 390 terajoules per day of gas.

Gross output through Varanus Island in 2021 was 273 terajoules per day but it is not known what percentage came from John Brookes.

Santos recently said there are near-field options to provide new supplies to Varanus Island including the Spartan field currently being executed, infill drilling at Spar and discovered resources in the area at Spar Deep and Corvus.

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