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Crude oil loadings at Western Australian ports delayed as Cyclone Veronica hits

Singapore — Crude oil loadings from Western Australian ports are delayed as a Category 4 tropical cyclone is moving through the region, according to trade sources and S&P Global Platts data Thursday.

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Port facilities at Port Hedland and Dampier have been placed on high alert, and enacted clearing procedures at berths and anchorages as Cyclone Veronica bears down on northern Western Australia, port authorities said Thursday.

Both ports were due to be cleared by 6 pm local time (1000 GMT), port agents said.

The Floating Production, Storage and Offtake vessel Okha, which loads Cossack crude, has been moved from its production field, and was seen sailing towards East Java as of 4 pm Singapore time (0800 GMT), S&P Global Platts vessel tracking software cFlow showed.

Field operator Woodside Energy was originally scheduled to load a cargo of Cossack crude over March 12-16, according to company sources.

Trade sources said that the loading will now be delayed, though this could not be confirmed with Woodside.

"Woodside is taking the necessary precautions to safeguard our people and assets. If there is any material impact to production, this will be reported as per our market disclosure requirements," a Woodside spokesperson said Thursday.

The FSO Dampier Spirit, which loads Stag crude, has also been moved from its production field, cFlow showed.

It could not be confirmed if loadings of Australia's North West Shelf condensate were disrupted. However, the Aframax vessel Luzon Spirit, chartered by BP and scheduled to load condensate from Dampier on March 22, was seen sailing unladen away from the port as of 4 pm Singapore time, according to cFlow.

--Andrew Toh, andrew.toh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com