|09 April, 2020

Spirit Energy temporarily shuts 9,000 bpd Chestnut oilfield due to coronavirus

Spirit is majority-owned by Britain's largest energy supplier Centrica

LONDON- Spirit Energy has temporarily shut its 9,000 barrel per day Chestnut oilfield and floating production vessel in the British North Sea due to the impact of coronavirus on its workforce, it said on Thursday.

Teekay, the operator of the Hummingbird Spirit floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the Chestnut field, said production was temporarily suspended for a "deep cleaning", a spokeswoman said.

Production was halted on April 4 after a third-party contractor, who had been evacuated on March 29 after displaying flu-like symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, she added.

Another crew member was evacuated on April 4, after showing flu-like symptoms. Both individuals are recovering at home.

"We are continuing to seek expert advice on what additional precautions should be taken on board the vessel prior to the resumption of production," Teekay said.

Spirit is majority-owned by Britain's largest energy supplier Centrica, which cancelled its 2019 dividend earlier this month, sending its shares to record lows.

Centrica wants to sell its stake in Spirit.

EnQuest ENQ.L announced last month it would not reopen two North Sea fields currently undergoing maintenance, making Chestnut the first British North Sea field to shut on medical rather than economic grounds. 

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans) ((Shadia.Nasralla@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 5083; +44 778 99 43141; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: shadia.nasralla.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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