Forties North Sea oil pipeline back on-line after second breakdown
The North Sea’s Forties pipeline system that carries 40% of crude oil has begun flowing again after a short halt, the second in two months.
“The start-up of the Forties Pipeline System is now underway following the successful resolution of an issue on Feb. 7 with a feed control valve,” owner Ineos said in a statement.
“The pipeline is back up and running,” the spokesman said.
The shutdown occurred after the valve closed on its own automatically as a safety measure. The safety system operated "as expected" to carefully close the main pipeline system, North Sea oil and gas installations with the mainland.
Petro-chemicals group Ineos, which also owns the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, bought the pipeline in late October and it has already suffered two shutdowns. In December a hairline crack forced a close for almost three weeks.
The December shutdown helped contribute to a surge in oil prices, with Brent crude climbing to what was then a two year high at $64 per barrel. Since then Brent has topped $70 but, apart from a brief rally during during this week's Forties closure, has slid below $65 a barrel.