Italy's Eni delays E. Timor Kitan crude loading by 1 mth -sources

Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:00am EDT
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SINGAPORE, July 16 (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas group Eni has pushed back its loading schedule for Kitan crude in the East Timor Sea by a month due to production problems, trade sources said on Wednesday.

The field is about to resume output after closing for two weeks for repairs, said a source familiar with its operations.

Eni has declared force majeure on cargoes that had been sold, another source said. The three cargoes loading in June, July and August were pushed back by a month, a second source said.

No Kitan will be available for September trading, the sources said.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Kitan's output has fallen by half since April with just one 500,000-600,000-barrel cargo loading between May and August, sources said.

The field, which started production in October last year, had reached peak production of 40,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Italian explorer operates the Kitan field with a 40 percent interest. Japan's Inpex Corp has a 35 percent stake and Talisman Energy Inc has 25 percent in the joint venture.

The field is about 240 km south of the Timor-Leste capital of Dili and 550 km north of Darwin in Australia.