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Forties pipeline repairs to complete by Christmas

OE Staff Friday, 22 December 2017 09:32

Work to fix a pipeline which is costing the UK North Sea industry millions in lost production a day is due to complete by Christmas, the operator has said. 

INEOS, which operates the Forties Pipeline System (FPS), a major export pipelines from some 80 assets in the UK North Sea, including the UK's two largest producers, Buzzard and Forties. 

A hairline crack was found early December in an onshore section of the 235mi-long FPS, through which 40% of North Sea oil flowed in 2017.

"INEOS continues to make steady progress towards the safe repair of the Forties Pipeline," the firm said. "Continued monitoring and assessment confirms that the hairline crack has remained stable since the flow of oil and gas was stopped through the pipe on Monday 11 December. Work on the pipeline is progressing well and based on current estimates INEOS is planning to complete the repair around Christmas." 

INEOS says it has initiated a planning process necessary to begin recommissioning the system, including the Kinneil facility, as soon as the pipeline repair is complete.

"Initially a small number of customers will send oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows INEOS to carefully control the flow into the system," the firm says. 

Based on current estimates the company expects to bring the pipeline progressively back to normal rates early in the new year.  

North Sea production shut-in due to a "hairline" crack in a pipeline is costing operators US$26.68 million a day in lost production, according to industry body Oil & Gas UK

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